Making Biblical Family Life Practical

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Making Biblical Family Life Practical podcast


 You’ve made the commitment. You’ve caught the vision. You want to serve God in every aspect of your family life— but sometimes it’s hard to put feet on that vision! How do you get from principle to practice? What does it look like when you get there? How do you apply Scriptural truth in a 21st-century family?

This is “Making Biblical Family Life Practical,”

with Hal and Melanie Young

With humorous banter, laser beam insight, and lots of practical advice, Hal and Melanie address real world issues, current events, marriage, parenting, raising sons, and family life. They’ll encourage and inspire you to walk out the Word of God in your family — and work toward reforming our culture, too.

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Hal & Melanie Young Episodes

Time Off – Vacation, the Bible, and Your Budget – MBFLP 307

It’s summertime, and like many families, we’re on vacation! Our annual trip to the lake is a tremendous encouragement after all the travel and work of conference season. You know what else is encouraging? To realize the Bible supports the idea! God established a pattern of work and rest from the very beginning – creating […]

Dealing with Disrespect – MBFLP 201 (replay)

“My son shows me disrespect.” “How can I deal with the disrespect from our kids?” “What can I do to teach my children to be more respectful?” It’s something we all have to deal with as parents, and yet it’s hard – and some of us struggle more than we expected! This episode, we look […]

Are They Ready for College? – MBFLP 305

 Are they ready for college?There’s more than academics at stake! This episode is Sponsored by CTC Math. If your student is heading for college – next year or several years from now – of course you’re going to pay attention to class work, transcripts, resumes and such. But as we’re preparing our seventh student  this […]

Family Devotions – What Does This Look Like? – MBFLP 303

A lot of Christian homes don’t have experience with family devotions. Where do you even start? What’s appropriate for our kids at their ages? This episode, we’re following up our previous show about why to have devotions – now, we’re looking at how!  Join us for some ideas that we’ve found really useful with our […]

Having Family Devotions Even When It’s Hard – MBFLP 302

One of the most critical responsibilities of Christian parents is to teach our children to know and love the God we serve. One of the best ways is to have regular times of family worship and Bible study – but honestly, life is busy and kids are distracted and distracting, and it’s just hard to […]

Encouraging Your Teen Driver – MBFLP 301

Encouraging Your Teen Drivers More and more Gen-Z’ers are delaying their driver’s licenses … but we’re helping our eighth child through the process right now! This is a step toward adult independence and a big help to the family right now … as we’ve seen time and again. This episode we’re talking about why and […]

Dealing with Selfishness – MBFLP 300

It is perfectly natural for our children (and ourselves) to be self-centered. It’s also perfectly wrong! But how do we overcome this tendency in our children? Can we do it without constant nagging and scolding? What can we do to encourage our family members to look after one another, rather than each demanding his own […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling In Hard Times

So many of us began homeschooling out of conviction that God wanted us to do it. Our commitment can be shaken if we come on hard times. We’ve homeschooled through job loss, high-risk pregnancy, financial challenge, and stage IV cancer, and we learned it can be done. This week we talk about why you ought […]

Reading Fiction as a Christian – MBFLP 299

We’re both avid readers, and we’ve raised a whole nest of readers – our house is full of books — and not just the parents’! We’ve talked about some our personal favorites, but this episode we’re looking at whole genres of fiction. How should we, as Christians, approach fictional literature? Are there any kinds to […]

What To Expect Senior Year – MBFLP 298

It’s an exciting milestone in a homeschooling family – high school graduation just around the corner! Or maybe it’s on the horizon and approaching fast. Either way, what can you do to prepare yourself and your student for this big transition? We’ve graduated six so far, so we’re talking about things we found helpful as […]

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers Around – MBFLP 297

Homeschooling doesn’t (and shouldn’t) look like a classroom school. One big difference is multiple ages together – and sometimes, the younger ones aren’t even school-age yet! How do you manage to teach your older kids while you have nursing babies and demanding toddlers in the room? It’s possible – we did it for our eight […]

Bringing History to Life! – MBFLP 296

We’ve seen that understanding history can help us navigate the present, too! The question is, how can we help our children learn to appreciate history like we do? What can we do to spark their interest, to make it memorable, and bring it to life for them? This episode we talk about several things we’ve […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling With Special Needs | Replay

Homeschooling with Special Needs This week we talk about homeschooling when your student has special needs–and why home education is a blessing to them. Our guests are the special needs consultants from the Home School Legal Defense Association, Betty Statnick, Krisa Winn, and Faith Berens. This podcast is sponsored by Reading Eggs. Play in […]

Why Teach History? – MBFLP 295

Here in the technology-driven 21st century, why should we bother our kids with names and dates from the past? Shouldn’t we be looking forward, not backwards? Does history really have much bearing on the world our children will inherit, and how they deal with it? We would say emphatically YES, we need to learn history! […]

Don’t Skip the Picture Books – MBFLP 294

Do you have a precocious reader? We’ve had some! And when they’re being homeschooled – and around grownups all day – their vocabulary can be surprisingly rich. So should we move them on into the youth books, and skip over the picture books and beginning reader stuff? Or is there a purpose for enjoying the […]

A Healthy Marriage, Day to Day (with Roger and Jan Smith) – MBFLP 293

What makes a marriage last? How do you build a strong and stable relationship for hard times and good times? Is it something more than just being “lucky in love”? This episode, we’re talking with our friends and fellow teachers, Roger and Jan Smith. Between us, we have eighty years of marriage, twelve children, and […]

Parenting with Influence with Roger and Jan Smith – MBFLP 292

This week, we’re talking with our friends Roger and Jan Smith, veteran homeschool leaders and speakers, about Roger’s new book, Parenting with Influence. The parents of four adult children, Roger and Jan share the principles they found helpful preparing their kids to take on the responsibilities of adulthood, without resorting to legalism or overbearing control. […]

Graduation – Early or Late? – MBFLP 291

Homeschoolers have the blessing of flexibility on so many issues – and graduation timing is one of them. Should you plan to graduate your student at 18? What about the precocious kids who might earn a diploma by 15? Or kids with health or learning issues, should they graduate later? We’ve had all three situations […]

Different Rules, Same Family – MBFLP 290

  “You never would have let me do that,” says the older child. “Why can’t I do the same thing as my brother?” demands the younger. Parents may find themselves caught between competing complaints! But the fact is, many of our family rules can and should change as our children grow and mature – and […]

Rules and Relationship – MBFLP 289

Rules are a good and necessary part of running a home and raising a family. Why do our best efforts sometimes breed resentment or even rebellion, when it’s all so well-intentioned? This episode we’re looking at the crucial balance between rules and relationship in our home! Scriptures We Reference The Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17, […]

Valentine’s Day on a Budget – MBFLP 288

Like it or not, February 14 is just around the corner. Maybe you’ve got big plans, but maybe you don’t have the funds for a romantic getaway. With eight kids and a limited budget, we’ve been there! This episode we’re talking about ways to make the most of the holiday without spending a fortune! Why […]

Surviving the Break with Your College Students – MBFLP 287

The holidays are upon us and we are looking forward to having our college students home again! But to be realistic, there’s always a transition to bringing our young adults back into the household – and often both the student and the family ends up frustrated. This episode we’re talking about things you can do […]

Kids and Chores – MBFLP 286

Part Three of our series on work – Your kids and their chores! We have eight kids and with some health challenges around, it was really necessary that everyone contribute to running the house. This episode we deal with some common questions: Should children be paid for chores? Are we making tasks too difficult for […]

Getting Schoolwork Done – MBFLP 285

Part 2 on getting our kids to work – What about school work? That’s really the daily job for our children – whether it’s homeschool or any other educational system. What can we do to overcome their natural resistance to school, and how can we encourage good habits in the pursuit of knowledge? We’ve homeschooled […]

How Can I Get My Kids to Work? – MBFLP 284

It’s one of the most common questions we get – “How can I get my kids to work?” Surveys find that a large number of families don’t expect their kids to do chores – and many that do, have a running battle over getting them done cheerfully. This episode, we’re talking about a balanced, Biblical […]

Things We Learned When Times Were Tight – MBFLP 283

A lot of families are struggling during this economic downturn. It’s not the first time we’ve been through it, either. How do we respond in a positive, faith-directed manner to the undeniable challenges of the day? What can we learn and what can we teach our kids as we make our way through?     […]

Homeschooling a Bunch of Levels at Once – MBFLP 282

There are a lot of new homeschoolers this year, and many families may be wondering, “How will we ever manage to teach two, or three, or six grade levels at the same time?” It’s possible – Melanie has taught six students with a toddler underfoot, more than once! But there are some tricks to the […]

Homeschooling When YOU Have a Chronic Illness – MBFLP 281

It’s one thing when you’re homeschooling a child with a chronic illness – sometimes that’s the only way they’ll get an education! But what if Mom’s the one who’s struggling? What if you’re a parent with health issues, but you’re convinced that homeschooling is the best for your kids? How can you manage your days, […]

Homeschooling a Child with a Chronic Illness – MBFLP 280

  Everybody goes through seasons of illness – summer colds, seasonal flu, an occasional injury – and most of the time, we can take a few days off to get over them. But what if your student has a condition that doesn’t get better with a week in bed? How can you homeschool a child […]

Teaching Character with Stories – Talking with Rick Boyer – MBFLP 279

Stories are powerful tools to teach and illustrate character – think of Jesus’ parables! We can use stories the same way. This episode we’re talking with Rick Boyer, father of a large family, about how he’s used narratives to teach his own children, and now reaches out to thousands with audiobooks and commentary. Plus we’ll […]

Building a Family Culture – MBFLP 278

You can feel it when you walk in the door – families have a particular culture or personality! Whether intentional or not, every home will develop its own manner of living and interacting. The question is – how can you encourage a healthy family culture that will strengthen as it goes on? How can you […]

Homeschool Conferences – and why we love them! – MBFLP 277

With the world full of resources available online, you can develop your philosophy, order your materials, and start homeschooling without ever meeting another parent-educator. That’s a blessing in many ways, especially if you live in a rural area or a foreign culture. But sometimes we think we’ve found what we need when we join the […]

Homeschooling with Unsupportive Family – MBFLP 276

  If God has called you to teach your children at home, that’s what you need to do! But it’s easier if everyone around you is cheering you on. What do you do if your parents or in-laws or extended family are skeptical? How do you and your family keep on the path when there […]

Church Online – Yea or Nay? – MBFLP 275

One of the unexpected results of the pandemic has been the expansion of online-church opportunities. Even small churches like our own were able to use inexpensive tools and software to broadcast streaming worship services – without a technical crew! But is this a useful expansion to the church’s ministry and outreach – or a distraction, […]

Homeschooling and the Holidays – MBFLP 274

How do you balance everything, between your commitments to church programs, holiday recitals, shopping and cooking and cleaning for the family … and providing a quality home education for your children? Is it even possible? Should it be? This episode, we’re talking about how we learned to manage it with eight kids … no cape […]

Gift Giving in a Big Family – MBFLP 273

This week we’re talking about gift giving – it’s Biblical, you know!  But how do you manage it without being immersed in the commercialism of a secular holiday, while glorifying God and having fun together? We’ve found that being more intentional and deliberate in choosing gifts and even in how we open them together, and […]

Help! My Son Cries About Every Little Thing! – MBFLP 272

A member of our Facebook community asked, “What about boys crying?” There have been people who said it’s unmanly to cry, and discouraged or even disciplined their sons for crying – ever. On the other hand, some say it’s less than human to hold back the tears – so we should allow or encourage our […]

Holiday Stress – and What We Do About It! – MBFLP 271

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the song says … and one of the busiest and most stressful, too! What can we do to maintain the spirit of celebration while the season’s demands pile on top of our already-full lives? What practical steps can we take to lighten the load and get the […]

Helping Kids Deal with Stress – MBFLP 270

We adults may feel like we’re under stress all the time, but we can’t overlook the fact that our kids are suffering, too! Last episode we talked about how we respond when we’re confronted with uncertainty and unpleasant news. How can we help our kids deal with the disruptions of life on their level? Lest […]

Dealing with Stressful News – MBFLP 269

Some things are unquestionable, life-changing moments – an unexpected death in the family, a natural disaster, a major accident. But what about things which just show up and disrupt everything? The smaller emergencies which aren’t big enough to awaken heroism, but are big enough to bring out all our doubts, fears, frustrations, and temper? The […]

Encouraging More Edifying Speech – MBFLP 268

The Bible says a lot about the power of the tongue – the question for us is, how do we train and encourage our families to speak in a more gracious and edifying way, when the culture around us grows more unkind and profane every day? First step – “Lord, is it me?” Never underestimate […]

“Potty Mouth” – Big Deal or Not? – MBFLP 267

“What should I do about my kids’ ‘potty mouth’?” asked a young father in our church. Learning appropriate behavior and speech patterns is part of socialization, but is there a bigger issue than being “socially acceptable”? Society has become more tolerant of bad language Society itself isn’t a reliable guide. In the 1970s the comedian George […]

Qualified to Homeschool – MBFLP 266

“What makes you think you’re qualified to homeschool?” That’s one of the frequently asked questions, isn’t it? And if nobody in your family, church, or neighborhood asks — you’ll probably ask yourself. Don’t you have to have a teacher’s certificate to really be a teacher? Shouldn’t you go to college and get an education degree […]

Homeschooling or School-at-Home – Day to Day – MBFLP 265-2

Continuing our comparison of true homeschooling with the school-at-home model!  Let’s talk about how independent home education looks different day-to-day, and why duplicating the schoolroom experience at home is more stressful, less efficient, and a lot less fun than charting a new, freer pathway to learning and exploring together. A Fundamental Distinction A lot of […]

Homeschooling, or School-at-Home? – MBFLP 265-1

Is this “homeschooling” or is it “school-at-home”? Is there a difference?  Many families have experienced public school from a remote location this year — and some districts are calling it “homeschooling.” But most homeschooling veterans will tell you there is a world of difference between independent, parent-led education, and taking public school classes with public […]

Thinking About Homeschooling – Things to Consider – MBFLP 264-2

Are you one of the thousands of families just beginning homeschooling – or thinking seriously about it this year? Surveys say that over one and a quarter million students aren’t returning to public schools, and the number of homeschooling families doubled between April and October last year. This episode, we continue our conversation about our […]

Thinking About Homeschooling – How We Decided – MBFLP 264-1

One of the unexpected results of the COVID-19 pandemic is an explosion of interest in homeschooling.  Researchers say the number of homeschooling families doubled between April and October of 2020, and at least 1.3 million students didn’t return to the public school system in the fall. Are you a new homeschooler? Or are you thinking […]

Teens, Preteens, and Social Anxiety – MBFLP 263

One of the hallmarks of adolescent behavior is social awkwardness, often to the point of anxiety. That’s true in the best of times! Yet here we are after a year of pandemic alarms, mandates, and “abundance of caution,” and you may be finding your young people are not eager to begin seeing people outside the […]

Seasons of Motherhood – MBFLP 262

There are seasons to motherhood Ecclesiastes says that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl 3:1) Yet young women are being told that they can and should do all things right now. They’re being urged to set their priorities by the culture’s values instead of their own […]

Effective Discipline for Teens – MBFLP 261

  A reader writes, “I need suggestions how to discipline my 14-year-old son.” She’s finding out what we all discover – if you try to discipline your 14-year-old like he was still six, you’re likely to have a fight on your hands! So what do you do with this young person who’s growing so tall, […]

MBFLP 260 – Accident-Prone Kids

A reader asked, “What can you do about accident-prone kids who always seem to be breaking things?”   “Uh oh …” We’ve all heard the dreadful sound from the next room – or the sharp crash of breaking glass – or the muffled whump in another part of the house. All kids will have moments […]

Helping Dad Connect With The Kids – MBFLP 259

A reader asks: “How can we help dads connect with their kids?” Moms seem to naturally connect with little ones – even before they’re born! It’s not so easy for dads, though. More than one has said, “I can’t communicate with this baby – I’ll let Mama handle it until he’s six or seven, and […]

Make the Most of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 258

“How do I encourage my young men to look forward to the future?” In part 1, we talked about the reality of uncertainty as a part of every time and every life, though the immediate upheaval is a very real and very disruptive event!  (see episode 257, “Making Sense of Uncertain Times”) But how can […]

Making Sense of Uncertain Times – MBFLP 257

How can we encourage our young adult sons to look forward to the future? A listener asked the question, considering the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic response. What can we say or do to give hope to our young adults, when everything seems to have a roadblock? What do we do when college is reduced […]

The Foundations of Education – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 256

  As we bring up our children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), how can we confidently address the hot button issues in our culture? When the world says humanity is a cosmic accident, society is nothing but structures of oppression, and personal autonomy and self-identification are the highest good – […]

Building a Legacy – A Conversation with Ken Ham – MBFLP 255

Welcome to the new year! Glad as we may be to see the old year passing, the challenges to our families never change. As the world around us becomes more hostile to Christian teaching, how do we prepare our children to walk in faith when they leave our home? What sort of foundation can we […]

Biographies for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-2

. Finishing up a listener’s question from episode 245, (“What Are You Reading Right Now?”), this episode Hal is talking about some of his favorite biographies, and why he likes reading this special form of history. Biography is more than just the facts Some years ago, Hal started reading biographies to learn more about figures […]

History for Book Lovers – MBFLP 254-1

Earlier this year we talked about books and authors the two of us enjoy together (episode 245, “What Are You Reading Right Now?”) and we mentioned that each of us has genres we like personally but separately. A caller on our Listener Response Line reminded us that we hadn’t returned to those books – “You […]

Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 3 – MBFLP 253-3

Part 3 – Building Friendship Between Your Children We want our kids to be friends and allies, not rivals and opponents, but that takes some conscious effort. As parents, we can make both the positive and negative efforts to build friendship and avoid tearing it down. How can we prevent harsh feelings between our kids? […]

Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 2 – MBFLP 253-2

Part 2 – Making Competition Helpful, Not Harmful When you’ve got more than one child, you are going to have challenges. How can you teach them to play together and enjoy games without the older ones overrunning the younger? We had six boys over a twelve-year span, so we had to figure this out! This […]

Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1

One of the questions we hear most often is, “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?”  We had eight children, and six boys in a row, so we had plenty of competition and challenge to work with! A certain amount is normal and can be accommodated even within the family, but it has to be […]

Getting Kids On Board With Your New Homeschool – MBFLP 252

Are you starting homeschooling this fall? Was it always your plan, or did the pandemic make this an unexpected “best option”? Either way, are your kids on board with the decision? Parents have the responsibility and the perspective to make this choice for their family, but sometimes the children aren’t thrilled. Even if it’s the […]

The Problem of Perfectionism – MBFLP 251

A reader asks, “What can you do about an over-conscientious child?” C.S. Lewis observed that our sins are often forms of virtues which have gone astray. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you […]

Motivating Boys to Write – MBFLP 250

If you’re homeschooling a boy (or just helping your son with his homework!) you’ve probably seen his frustration about writing. Yet the ability to put thoughts into words and words onto paper is a crucial skill for life and career. How can you get past his natural hesitation and open up that channel for communication? […]

Beating Boredom This Summer – MBFLP 249

Summertime is always a challenge – with the change of routine, it’s easy for our kids (or ourselves) to feel adrift. This year, with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, even our backup program may be on hold or cancelled. What can you do to make the most of summertime with your family, when vacation may be […]

Raising Them Up – a conversation with Israel Wayne – MBFLP 248

This episode, we’re talking with Israel Wayne, homeschool graduate, father of ten, and author of the new book Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians. He shares some of the difficulties of his childhood – parents who divorced early, an abusive stepfather, times of poverty and homelessness – and the incredible way that God has redeemed […]

Quarantine School – It gets better from here! – MBFLP 247

Schools are still out and so’s the jury – could this be a glimpse of your future? To be honest, few people could have dreamed that millions of kids would start learning from home this spring, and nobody consulted the parents whether they felt like giving homeschooling a whirl. The good news is, if you […]

Planning for College Even During COVID-19 – MBFLP 246

How can you hunt for a college in the midst of a global pandemic? Colleges want students who demonstrate interest in their college. But how can you demonstrate interest in a college when you are sheltering in place under a “stay at home” order?  Join us for this special conversation with Lee Binz, “The HomeScholar”! […]

What Are You Reading Right Now? – MBFLP 245

These are challenging times, and whether you need entertainment to pass the idle hours, or something diverting at the end of a stressful day, a good book is great to find. We’re book people, for sure, and we know the value of trusted authors and especially, those who have lots of titles to discover! So […]

When They’re Being Bullied – MBFLP 244

Studies and surveys tell us up to 49% of school kids (grades 4-12) have been bulled in the past month – but homeschoolers aren’t immune to threats and intimidation. This episode, we talk with Candice Dugger of BulliedBrokenRedeemed, about what to look for if your child’s being bullied,what you can do to help the situation, […]

Living through Lockdown – Work and School at Home – MBFLP 243

Welcome to life during a lockdown! Suddenly a lot of families are unexpected homeschoolers – and a lot of wage earners have “come home” to work near their families. It’s a huge transition, even if you planned it months ahead of time. How can you recognize and start to adjust to the very different reality […]

When It’s Time They Were Moving Out – MBFLP 242

“What ever happened to growing up and moving out?” someone asked. The fact is, a growing number of young adults are living at home with their parents. Is this a problem? Well, sometimes yes, but sometimes not at all. This episode, we’re talking about how to work through the young adults leaving Mom and Dad’s […]

Fighting Cabin Fever – MBFLP 241

“February is the cruelest month” is how T.S. Eliot began The Waste Land – until Ezra Pound suggested he change it to “April” for poetic reasons. Be that as it may, February is a time of dullness for many of us. It may affect us ourselves, it may affect our children. So what can we do about […]

Raising Kids to Love Their Siblings – MBFLP 240

Is sibling rivalry just something to expect? Is it a foregone conclusion that our kids are going to be simmering with jealousy, rivalry, and unkindness toward one another? Or is there a way to promote friendship and affection between brothers and sisters? We have eight kids, and while they’ve had their moments of conflict, we’ve […]

Relationships and Holiday Stress – MBFLP 239

  The song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many families, it’s also the most stressful. How can you accomplish all you need to do during the holidays, without putting a strain on your family relationships? And how do you deal with visiting family members who may be bringing their […]

Teaching Your Kids (and yourself) to THINK– MBFLP 238

Have you ever looked at your child and asked, “What were you thinking?” – and then realized that he wasn’t thinking at all? That’s common enough – and to be honest, sometimes it doesn’t improve in adulthood. This episode, Hal is talking about how you can help your kids become more intentional, more aware, more […]

Chores – Why and How – MBFLP 237

Studies show that although children who have regular chores are more likely to be happy as kids and independent as adults, less than one out of three families expect their kids to help around the house. Only 28%! As a family of ten, we found that teaching our children to help out was a necessity. […]

Real Modesty (a redux episode) – MBFLP 236

Hello, Friends! Melanie’s come down with laryngitis this week so we’d like to offer this return to a frequent issue for Christians in conservative churches – Modesty! And we think you’ll find there’s more to it, and less of what you may expect, when you look back to the whole Bible. We hope you enjoy […]

Myths of Motherhood – MBFLP 235

Hal is out of town with the children and Melanie is helping her mother after major surgery, so this episode Melanie tackles some common ideas about motherhood that may not be quite so. Join this mother of eight (five all grown now) as she looks at “Myths of Motherhood”! “Motherhood” is one of the almost-mystical […]

Teaching “Adulting” – MBFLP 234

  Studies show that young adults are often not prepared for adult independence. Psychologists say the current generation is growing up slowly, and some even say “Twenty-five is the new fifteen”!* But if our parents and grandparents were functioning adults at 18 or 20, why can’t our kids be the same? This episode we’re talking […]

The Parent-Child Relationship – MBFLP 233

The overwhelming business of raising a child can cause us to miss the importance of our relationship with them. There’s so much to think about, so much to do, so much to pray over and work on – how can we put the proper emphasis on the “soft skills”? And yet, at the end of […]

Finding a Mate – MBFLP 232

Does the Bible give us guidance on finding a mate? Of course – but it’s not as detailed as some of the more recent advice we’ve all heard. This episode we’re talking about some unmistakable – and non-negotiable – things the Scriptures tell us about guys and girls in relationship … but keeping in mind […]

When Christian Leaders Fall – MBFLP 231

What to you do when prominent Christian leaders walk away from the faith? How do you think this through, and how do you talk about it to your kids? In the past month, author and former pastor Joshua Harris announced the end of his twenty-year marriage, and almost “by the way,” renounced the Christian faith […]

College Without Debt or Fortune – MBFLP 230

We’re on the road this week, taking our son – our fifth son, by the way – off to college. He’s not taking on a load of debt – and neither are we. And we’re not rolling in dough and writing checks to cover it, either! In fact, his four older brothers have done the same […]

Planning for the New School Year – MBFLP 229

As we look forward to the new school year – whether with fear or anticipation – we’re looking at the problem of planning. How much is necessary? Is there a point of “too much”? What sort of process works best? We’ve been homeschooling for twenty-five years now, and we’ve probably done it all, from detailed […]

Spiritual Doubts and Your Kids – MBFLP 228

“Mom, I think I’m an atheist.” That was the chilling announcement from the back of the van, from our nine-year-old child. Spiritual doubts may arise at any time, especially with young teens, and this episode we’re talking about some practical things you can do to help shepherd your young person through this stormy time.   […]

Raising Boys in a #MeToo Generation – MBFLP 227

You spend years teaching your sons right from wrong, good manners instead of bad, and all the right social skills. Yet in a super-sensitive time, even a hint of misbehavior toward a female – sometimes just an accusation – can affect the rest of their lives! When you’ve worked hard to keep your son’s conscience […]

Unexpected Benefits of Graduation – MBFLP 226

It’s Graduation Time! We’re heading out for our fifth high school graduation (our homeschooled son will be in the ceremony at the North Carolinians for Home Education “Thrive!” conference). It’s a milestone that doesn’t grow stale even the fifth time around! It’s good to see our children growing into the first steps of independence, as […]

The Importance of Fun – MBFLP 224

Who said school can’t be fun? This episode, we sit down with our friends Roger and Jan Smith, long-time homeschool parents and leaders in Louisiana. The topic is simply, “Fun” – what it can do to create memories, bond family members, and make learning a lot more enjoyable for parents and students alike! Recently we […]

Adoption When It’s Not Easy – MBFLP 225

Adoption is a picture of God’s love for His people. It literally saves lives and it rescues children from terrible situations. It’s not as simple as choosing a pet from the store, though, and adopted children often have problems that continue into adult life. This episode, we talk with Shauna Lopez, an adoptive parent who’s […]

Teaching Kids About Money – MBFLP 223

Today we’re talking about one of those most practical of all topics – money, and particularly how you teach your young people about it. This was easier with the older kids because with the older kids, I mean, you get a job, start a business, make a budget, save money, easy. You can’t tell your […]

Teaching Discernment – MBFLP 222

How do you teach your kids discernment in a world soaked in media? We may be able to tightly control our youngest children’s exposure and experience of the entertainment world, but that changes with time. We need to train our teens how to recognize both the good things in media and the deceptive things which lie […]

Love in a Time of Sickness – MBFLP 221 (repeat!)

HARRRCH! Greetings from our bronchitis ward! With the whole family, including your hosts, suffering from all sorts of respiratory unpleasantness … we’re going to bring back our show about navigating the challenges of sickness in your family. We hope to be healthy and “back in the saddle” soon! ~ Hal and Melanie The traditional wedding […]

Things We’re Glad We Did Homeschooling – MBFLP 220

It’s human nature – everybody has things they regret, or at least, things they’d do differently if they could. But a thoughtful reader told us she was tired of hearing everybody’s regrets – what about things we did homeschooling that turned out well, or even better than we expected? This episode we share several things […]

When Adult Kids Move Back Home – MBFLP 219

What do you do when the adult kids move out … and then come back? It’s not uncommon – the Census Bureau reports that more than one out of three Millennials (ages 18-34) are living at home with their parents. (In some states, it’s nearly 50%!) “A Third of Young Adults Live With Their Parents” […]

Children in “Big Church” – MBLFP 218

  Should children be in the main church service with the big people? We had eight children and we’ve tried to keep them in “big church” with us as much as possible. And we found that, with some wisdom and attention, it’s not only possible, but actually very good – and the kids learn much […]

Five Ways to Optimize Your Christmas Budget – MBFLP 217

  Whether the economy is strong or struggling, the traditional Christmas gift-buying rush is a major expense. When you’ve got a big family like ours, that only accentuates it! This week, we’re talking about ways we’ve learned to make your Christmas budget go a long way, even with lot of kids and a little bit […]

Long Distances with Little Ones – MBFLP 216

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest time of year on America’s highways, and you may be driving long hours with little ones on board. How do you manage this so you all arrive at Grandma’s in good spirits? We hit the road in 2010 with seven children in the van and we’re crisscrossing the country […]

Date Night (even when you “can’t”) – MBFLP 215

Once upon a time, when we were young parents a long way from home, we heard someone say, “Date night is absolutely necessary for a healthy marriage!” When you’re new in town and grandparents are a thousand miles away, that’s discouraging! But the important thing is not “dates” but connection – how to renew the […]

Why Teaching Manners Matters – MBFLP 214

Are Manners Important? In the digital age, when informality and familiarity is the norm in so many places, is it too “old school” to teach manners to your kids? Have we moved past all the old social niceties? Is it unmanly for our boys to be schooled in etiquette? Or is there something important and […]

Stopping Sibling Squabbling – MBFLP 213

If your child has siblings it’s just about certain they’ll have squabbling. Sibling rivalry of one sort or another is unpleasant but normal – the question for us as parents is, “What can I do about it? How can I deal with the bickering and arguments, to make our home a place of peace and […]

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers – MBFLP 212

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers We homeschooled from the very beginning, which meant that we’ve always had babies and toddlers in the mix. We’ve always had multiple ages to deal with! What’s the number one thing we wish we’d known?  That it gets easier! The struggle is real. When you have little children, the burden […]

iGen – Understanding the New Generation – MBFLP 211

Move over, Millennials – the new generation has arrived! Researcher Jean Twenge calls them iGen – the first generation that’s grown up with smart phone in hand. How has that shaped their thinking? What does that mean for the rest of us? How should we teach and prepare our children to interact with their generational […]

Entrepreneurship and College – MBFLP 210

Is your son or daughter an entrepreneur at heart? Are you or they, either one, debating whether college is even worthwhile for a young person aiming at their own business?  This episode, we talk with our son Samuel Adams Young, who’s enrolled in an innovative business program at his college – one that teaches the […]

Middle Schoolers Online – MBFLP 209

When’s the right time to get your middle schoolers online? Researcher Jean Twenge (iGen) says that people born since 1995–that’s the class just starting to graduate from college, and their younger siblings–have basically grown up with round-the-clock Internet access. It’s not healthy, and it’s causing some specific, traceable problems … and yet, the world our […]

Middle School Q & A – MBFLP 208

Nobody told us what to expect … babies and toddlers we read about, and people warned us in hushed tones about the dreadful teen years, but nobody told us, “Just wait till they’re in middle school!” This week on Facebook Live we took questions from parents of pre-teens, asking them “What are you having struggles […]

Teaching Kids Self-Control – MBFLP 207

This episode we deal with a perennial problem in parenting – how in the world do we teach our kids self-control? The entertainment and collegiate culture may celebrate raw emotion and thoughtless self-expression – if it’s “authentic” it’s immune from criticism – but the Bible says differently. What’s more, every parent knows that what you […]

Doubling Down on Seventeen – MBFLP 206

We hear from a lot of parents who are struggling with their eleven-year-olds – the preteen uproar is real! But a close second is parents who are wrestling with an older teen – typically a seventeen-year-old. They don’t feel the respect or obedience, they are experiencing pushback and defiance, and they wonder how to make […]

Preparing Your Teens for More – MBFLP 205

“You think this is hard – just wait till they’re teenagers!” the stranger told Melanie as she pushed our four young children through the Atlanta zoo. But that’s a cultural expectation, not a foregone conclusion. Why can’t the teen years be productive years of growth, maturity, and deeper fellowship between parent and son or daughter? […]

When DAD Is The Teacher – MBFLP 204

Surveys and studies have shown that over 90% of the time, Mom is the primary teacher in a homeschooling family. But that doesn’t account for everyone, and sometimes Dad is the teacher, not Mom. How does that change the homeschooling dynamic? What is it like being a Dad at a support group meeting full of […]

Win-Win Arguments – MBFLP 203

It’s inevitable that we will have conflicts with the ones we love – the simple fact of fallen people living in a fallen world means accidents, misunderstandings, expectations – and yes, downright sin sometimes. When they happen, though, how do we turn the unavoidable conflict into something constructive? Can we argue in a way the […]

Discipline Without Breaking Their Spirit – MBFLP 202

Kids need discipline, and in fact, God tells us that a child who doesn’t receive discipline has been rejected by his parents! (Hebrews 12) Discipline, after all, is discipleship – it’s meant to teach, not just punish. But there are good and very bad ideas for administering the needed correction to our kids. How can you discipline […]

Dealing with Disrespect – MBFLP 201

“My son shows me disrespect.” “How can I deal with the disrespect from our kids?” “What can I do to teach my children to be more respectful?” It’s something we all have to deal with as parents, and yet it’s hard – and some of us struggle more than we expected! This episode, we look […]

Mom and Dad Parent Differently – That’s Okay! – MBFLP 200

What can you do when Mom and Dad have different perspectives on parenting? We get this question a lot, and it’s a concern – but in many cases, it may be a feature, not a bug! “There is unity of spirit, but diversity of gifts – just like in the church,” we think – listen […]

New Hacks for Family Travel – MBFLP 199

We’ve traveled about 150,000 miles for ministry and business the past several years, so we’ve learned a few things about taking a big family on big trips for small budgets. This year, we have several new tips, trick, hacks, and advice on budget travel, discount lodging, and cheap food along the way – it’s our […]

Business and Marriage – Making it Work – MBFLP 198

This page may contain affiliate links which earn us a small commission while not costing you anything extra. Have you ever thought about “coming home” from the corporate world and running a family business? A lot of homeschooling families dream about that day … but we found there are some surprising discoveries when your mate […]

Adulting – MBFLP 197

Studies are showing that high school seniors are less prepared for independent adult life than their parents and grandparents were, and psychologists are saying “Twenty-five is the new fifteen.” Does it have to be that way? Can’t we raise teens who are ready to step into grown up life? What are some practical steps for […]

Love and Sickness – MBFLP 196

    To love and to cherish … in sickness and in health For most of us, getting married at our healthy young-adult peak, the thought of life-rattling sickness is just a theoretical thing … most of us haven’t suffered more than an annual flu or a sprained ankle. Yet living in a fallen world, […]

Protecting Your Kids from Predators – MBFLP 195

Just when you thought the rise in sexual abuse of kids couldn’t get more horrifying, recent news has been full of the trials and convictions of Dr. Larry Nassar, the former team physician for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics – the oversight organization for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics program. Over 150 women and girls […]

Have A Great Mid-life Crisis – MBFLP 194

“Is midlife crisis even a real thing?” The question arose in a Christian forum recently, and it’s a valid concern. Should we just expect something to go bad when we turn 40, and brace ourselves for a time of existential grief and self-searching? Or is it just a worldly excuse for a spin of self-indulgence […]

Why Do You Have SO Many Children? – MBFLP 193

Only one out of five American families has more than two kids. If you’re in that 20%, you’ve probably been asked why – or if you’re in the 80%, you might have posed the question yourself! We have eight kids, and we’ve been asked – this episode, we talk about why a couple of average […]

Dealing with Parental Guilt – MBFLP 192

A recent study reported that parents experience 23 “pangs of guilt” every week about their parenting decisions. Surely we’re not all ruining our children, destroying the planet, and failing in every regard. So what can we do about nagging guilt feelings as Mom or Dad? This episode we talk about real guilt, false guilt, and […]

Talking About the Movies – MBFLP 191

This episode, we open up about several of the big releases in the theaters right now – and share some principles we use for evaluating entertainment through a Biblical lens for our family! Join us as we look at Darkest Hour, Murder on the Orient Express, The Greatest Showman, and The Last Jedi, with a […]

Christmas and Convictions – MBFLP 190

For a holiday in the church calendar, it’s amazing how many opinions and practices and scruples Christians have about celebrating Christ’s birth! This week we start from a friend’s question about Christmas trees and look at the underlying issues of Christian liberty, conscience, grace, and the gospel. Join us for this timely and practical look […]

When Your Kids Make You Angry – MBFLP 189

We all have to deal with it – there are days when the kids drive us crazy, or even, just one kid pushes us a little too far. What do you do when the anger rises? How do you deal with mad feelings? Is it okay to express our frustration … or should we bury […]

Gift Buying on a Budget – MBFLP 188

Pollsters tell us that Americans are planning to spend $862 each this Christmas. Well, maybe your family doesn’t have a $1700 gift budget … or maybe yours does, but you want to give presents with lasting value. How do you go about that? This episode we talk about things we do to make gift-giving both […]

Fear-Based Parenting – MBFLP 187

Are you a frightened parent? It’s one thing to be prudent, because there are real dangers that threaten our kids … but when our caution becomes fear, it can interfere with our children’s healthy development to competent adults … and psychologists say that anxiety is a hallmark of the Millennial adult. This episode, we look […]

Dating v. Courtship – MBFLP 186

It’s been a hot discussion in homeschooling for decades – what should we teach our kids about finding a mate? What’s really the Biblical model? After following one philosophy for several years and then realizing some of the assumptions really weren’t playing out in reality, we delved back into the Scriptures and found some surprising things […]

Doing Ministry With Your Kids Along – MBFLP 185

Are you in ministry, or do think you might be called into some kind of Christian service, but have mixed feelings and doubts about the role of your kids? How do you do Kingdom work with little ones in tow? Is it even possible? We’d suggest that not only is it possible, sometimes having your […]

Smart Kids Who Struggle – MBFLP 184

Sometimes you have a student who struggles – but just in one area! How do you understand and help a student who’s “twice exceptional” – who’s both gifted and special needs at the same time? Resources We Recommend We have several resources on our website – CLICK HERE to check them out! Home School Foundation […]

Breaking Up – Like a Believer – MBFLP 183

Sometimes even the best-intentioned relationships come to an end. It’s going to be awkward, and it’s probably going hurt. Does the Bible give us any direction on how to do this? You bet – let’s talk about it and let’s prepare our kids to act like believers even in a situation they never dreamed they’d […]

The College Application Dance – MBFLP 182

The process of applying for college can be stressful for homeschoolers. It’s hard enough being both Mom and Teacher – now she has to play Guidance Counselor too! Can your son prove he’s ready for college? How can you showcase your daughter’s real gifts? Will admissions offices believe it when Mom gives the grades? Hal […]

Talking to Kids about Disasters – MBFLP 181

The news is full of alarming stories – hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and more – and it’s nearly impossible to shield our kids from hearing about it. How do you help your children understand natural disasters and bad news with concern but not panic? Do you talk with your teenagers differently than your young kids? What […]

Emergency Homeschooling – MBFLP 180

Emergency Homeschooling ~ Episode 180 We love meeting families who decide to homeschool when they’re still years from “school age” – but sometimes people end up homeschooling suddenly (or emergency homeschooling.) What do you do if you have to jump into home education because of an unexpected relocation, an unacceptable situation at school, or a […]

Boy-Friendly Homeschooling – MBFLP 179

We had six boys, one after another, and thought our family’s sort of crazy was just normal life. Then people who had girls first started asking, “How in the world do you manage to homeschool all those boys?” The fact is, they are very different from their sisters – and from the moms who teach […]

Teen Boys Who Hate School – MBFLP 178

  Long ago, we noticed a revolving door at the eighth grade – parents who homeschooled their children from the beginning putting their kids into the school system, and public school parents pulling their kids out of the very same pipeline. Maybe the problem isn’t the school, but the student! This episode we talk about […]

Preteens and Spiritual Doubt – MBFLP 177

One of the most disturbing, even frightening, experiences of our parenting journey was learning of a child’s spiritual doubts. After pouring love and Scripture into our children for ten years, we may find that it hasn’t taken root – or that the early buds of childlike faith didn’t mature with time! This episode, we talk […]

Bullies and What to Do About Them – MBFLP 176

One of the reasons many people start homeschooling is to avoid “negative peer interaction,” which often means bullying. Sadly, though, it can happen at church, at homeschool meetings, or simply any gathering of kids. It can even happen inside your own family! This episode, we’re talking about approaches for dealing with bullying situations – how should […]

Important Stuff We Forget To Teach – MBFLP 175

We all start homeschooling knowing that we’ll have to teach reading, spelling, math … all the traditional classroom subjects. But we quickly realized there were some things that “just happened” in school, and now that we’re the school, we need to make plans for them. Unfortunately, we meet a lot of homeschool families who are […]

Body Image and Family – and What To Do About Them – MBFLP 174

Do you feel uncomfortable about your own body? When Melanie wrote about this on our blog, it turned out to be one of our most popular articles! This episode, we talk about handling negative self-talk, building up your wife, and recognizing the impact your self-doubt may be having on your kids. Melanie’s original blog post: […]

Hard Conversations – MBFLP 173

Even the best friendships run into rough spots – husbands and wives, parents and kids, church friends, neighbors. Sometimes you need to have those terrible conversations that begin, “We need to talk …” But even if they’re difficult, those conversations are critically important in the life of a relationship. Dodge them, and you may be […]

Kids and Phones – Smart or Not? – MBFLP 172

It’s been ten years since Apple introduced the iPhone – and the whole world has changed because of it. Like many new devices and technologies, what started as an amusement became a near-necessity. But should our kids have access? Do young people need a phone of their own? Or is it a popular trap that […]

Better Relationships with Your Kids – MBFLP 171

We’re back from our hiatus and we’re talking about relationships! How can we build trust, restore injured feelings, and safeguard the bond between parents and children? We’ve seen that relationships are built on moments, hundreds of day-by-day interactions and decisions, and often we don’t discover we’ve made a misstep until it bears unhappy fruit long […]

Building or Re-Building – To Become A Better Husband – MBFLP 170

Our sons face particular pressures on their way to becoming husbands – and fathers face some of the same issues as they live out their own vows! In the second part of Hal’s presentation to a recent men’s conference, he’s talking about the reality of both the temptation and the grace to resist it or […]

Laying a Foundation for Marriage – MBFLP 169

  We probably all share the hope that our children will marry, and marry well, and serve God in their family one day. But are we being intentional about preparing our sons to become godly husbands?  It’s important to live a good example in front of them, but we need to train them to deal with […]

Family Travel: Eat Cheap On The Road – MBFLP 168

“Mom, I’m hungry!” That call from the back of the van is more frequent than “Are we there yet?” – especially when there are teenagers in the mix. So what can a budget-conscious family do when the stomachs start to growl? This episode we talk about how we keep the food expenses low, keep the […]

Family Travel on a Budget – MBFLP 167

Spring’s in the air and summer vacation is just a few weeks away. You may be making plans already! The past several years, our family’s hit the road for twenty- to thirty thousand miles annually,literally coast to coast and into Canada too. How can a large family with a limited budget see and do so […]

How and Why to Celebrate – MBFLP 166

How and Why to Celebrate Although some Christians are suspicious of holidays and celebrations, there are many examples and principles in Scripture that throw some light on the question.  What makes a Biblical celebration unique? Should we feel guilty for going off our diet for the holidays? Why are there different “right answers” to some […]

Getting A Bigger Vision of God – MBFLP 165

Psalm 103:2 says “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” But is that all it’s about – “Bless me, God – Amen”? This episode Hal talks with Bob Sjogren of UnveilinGLORY, about a bigger — and more Biblical — vision of God, that can look beyond the gifts to really worship […]

When You Need To Find A New Church – MBFLP 164

Sooner or later, all of us are likely to need to find a new church – whether it’s due to relocation, or a change in the doctrinal stand, or a need for a different sort of community for your family’s spiritual growth. And even if we don’t make that decision for our own family, each […]

Apprenticeship – MBFLP 163

Although most high school graduates head off to college, most don’t reach their bachelor’s degree. And the ones that do, are usually saddled with a boatload of debt. Is this really necessary? Not in every field, no. Are there alternatives? Yes, indeed. This episode, we speak with the founder of a successful software company which […]

Modesty – MBFLP 162

One contentious question in the conservative wing of the church is modesty. What defines modesty? How should a modest spirit be expressed? The difficulty is that Scripture gives guidelines but no hemlines – and actually, appropriate dress and behavior will differ from one context or one culture to another. What’s more, it isn’t a women’s […]

Losing Religion, Finding Grace – MBFLP 161

  What happens when you do everything right and it turns out terribly, awfully wrong? Do you doubt God’s love? Does it shake your faith? Or does it drive you to a closer walk with your Lord and Savior? This episode, we talk with Kendra Fletcher, the author of the new book (affiliate link!), Lost […]

Warning Signs of Porn – MBFLP 160

  We get messages all the time from parents who’ve found out one of their children is watching porn. In every one, the parents express shock. They had no idea, no clue that this was going on in their house, so they just aren’t prepared to deal with it. When we talk to them, though, the […]

Healthy Guy-Girl Relationships – MBFLP 159

  We’ve heard the full range of opinions when it comes to young people and relationships – from the barber who asks the 7-year-old if he has a girlfriend yet, to the twenty-something girl who says, “Daddy is going to find me a husband.” Surely the Bible has something to say about this … and […]

Homeschooling Very Young Kids – MBFLP 158

We decided to homeschool our kids before we had any! And we meet lots of families with very young children who are eager to get started. Who can blame them? This episode, we talk about our approach to teaching very young children – from the experience of parents with precocious readers and late bloomers and […]

Surviving Teaching Math – MBFLP 157

  Math is fundamental to so many things, but it causes a lot of worry and distress among homeschool parents who have to teach it. The truth is, most of us won’t need calculus, but most of us use algebra frequently and never even realize it! How can you get over your own hesitation, calm […]

Getting Started Again After The Holidays – MBFLP 156

It’s normal and natural to feel some hesitation or dread when we leave our times of celebration and fun, and turn to the routine duties again – homeschooling among them. Should you just jump right in, or ease the transition? Do you implement resolutions or simply set goals? Does Mom’s attitude make a difference to […]

Teaching Your Kids To Be Content – MBFLP 155

The call for believers to be contented people is so difficult, even the apostle Paul struggled with it, and the Puritans called it “a rare jewel”! Yet even while we grown-ups are stumbling over grey weather, taxes, bills, and a thousand frustrations … we need to be teaching our kids how to be contented people […]

A Christ-Centered New Year – MBFLP 154

Marking the change of calendar with prayer, reflection, and celebration is a Biblical tradition as well as a cultural one. As Christian families, shouldn’t we all be looking for a closer walk with Christ and greater service in God’s kingdom, no matter where we are at the start of the year? This episode from an […]

Balancing “Perfect” and Family – MBFLP 153

    Don’t blame Pinterest – there has always been a temptation to seek the perfect house, the perfect project, the perfect celebration … and frustration that our very imperfect spouse and children gum up the works. Before there was social media, there were glossy magazines, and before that, critical in-laws and neighbors to keep up […]

Hosting the Holidays – MBFLP 152

What do you do for your family’s Christmas celebration? In particular, how do you handle it if your extended family has traditions you no longer follow? Or maybe you’ve added some traditions as well as dropping a few? This episode we talk about some of the traditions we’ve adopted, and the value of becoming the […]

Caroling Your Neighbors! – MBFLP 151

In a culture that’s increasingly secular – and hostile – there is one time and place where you can not only share the Gospel with strangers, you can sing it at top of your lungs – and they smile and applaud! That’s just one of the reasons we love caroling. This episode, we’ll give you […]

Unpleasant People at Thanksgiving – Post Election Edition – MBFLP 150

This has been a pretty divisive election season – the Gallup pollsters found in the days just before the vote, that nearly a third of us were voting against the other candidate, not in favor of the one we were marking! So there are a lot of stunned and stung people out there, and no […]

Giving Good Gifts to Your Children – MBFLP 149

Most of us remember the magical expectations of Christmas as children. It’s more thought-provoking when you’re the parents selecting those gifts for your children, nephews, nieces, and all. This episode, we talk about gifts that aren’t heavily advertised, licensed-character products that will fade in interest not long after the wrapping paper goes out. Listen in […]

Name Calling – MBFLP 148

Sticks and stones … right? We’ve all heard that, and probably told our kids that one time or another. Yet name-calling is not only a plague of childhood, it’s actually a problem throughout life … and we adults are warned by Christ Himself to be wary of the temptation! This episode, we look at what the […]

What Time Is Curfew? – MBFLP 147

  Several people have asked us “What time is curfew at your house? When do you require your kids to be home? Is it different for teens and twenties?”  Our answer usually surprises them — because we really don’t have one! That doesn’t mean our kids run rampant, smashing mailboxes at 3 a.m. and hanging out in […]

The Art of Schedule Juggling – MBFLP 146

  Once it was so easy – Dad had his calendar at work, and Mom had hers for the kids and herself. What needed coordination except for holidays and vacations? But when we had kids in high school and heading off to classes and activities all over the place, we realized we had to get […]

Understanding Surveys and Stats with NHERI’s Dr Brian Ray – MBFLP 145

This is a data-driven society, or at least, it claims to be. “The surveys said” or “Research indicates,” or “Studies show” are assumed to be _proof_, but a famous politician observed that “There are lies, and there are damn lies, and there are statistics.” How can we look at news of the latest polling or […]

Single Moms of Boys – MBFLP 144

  Parenting is hard enough when everything’s perfect. It’s really hard when you have to be a single parent — however you got there — and being a single mother raising a boy is nothing to sneeze at.  Both our mothers were widows with teenagers at home, and so we’ve seen up front some of […]

Struggling Learners and When to Get Help – MBFLP 143

  How desperate we are to avoid labeling our kids! And with good reason … if they’re in a classroom setting, maybe. But as homeschoolers, we have a much better handle on the social side, and there are serious benefits to your struggling child when you get her tested earlier rather than later. This episode, […]

Homeschool Dads – MBFLP 142

    “How can I get my husband more involved in our homeschool?”  It’s a common question but there are a lot of things below the surface – and we’d say that no matter what he’s doing, if he’s married to a homeschooling mom, then he’s already a homeschooling dad! This episode we unpack the concept of […]

Co-ops: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

If you homeschool, you’ve probably wondered if you ought to join a co-op. On today’s program, we talk about how co-ops can help you meet your kids’ academic and social needs. One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling, though, is being able to individualize education for each of your children. Homeschooling isn’t one-size-fits-all, so we’ll also talk […]

Your Childs’ Profession of Faith – MBFLP 140

Christian parents all hope and pray for their children to trust Christ, but how do you know when they’ve really been saved? Can’t we take a little child at his word if he’s prayed “the prayer”? Is there any reason to hesitate because of the age, or situation, or just on principle? And what’s the […]

Sharing the Gospel with Your Kids – MBFLP 139

  As Christian homeschool parents, what’s your number one concern? No question – it’s about teaching your kids to know and love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ! In this episode, we talk with veteran pastor and teacher Dennis Gundersen, author of Your Child’s Profession of Faith, about the awesome responsibility – and incredible blessing […]

Homeschooling When You Feel Like A Failure – MBFLP 138

Last episode, we wanted to encourage new homeschoolers who may be having second thoughts about this grand experiment they planned. But what about veterans (like us)? How did your last year go? Everything exactly as planned? Or was it like so many of ours, full of interruptions, distractions, illnesses, emergencies … Maybe you look at […]

Easy Start Guide to Homeschooling – MBFLP 137

Labor Day is approaching and the decision to start homeschooling, that decision that was so exciting and sparkly back in May, suddenly looms like a late summer thundercloud. Relax! This episode, we talk about some key things we learned about starting homeschooling – whether you’re beginning with a 5-year-old who’s never seen a schoolroom, or […]

The Only Biblical Way to Parent – MBFLP 136

New parents are deluged with advice about the best way to care for their infants and young children. New believers with children of any age may have the same experience – only this time, it’s often promoted as the Biblical way to raise them … how to be a truly Christian parent.The problem we’ve seen with several popular programs […]

Teaching Your Kids to Cook – MBFLP 135

In the hurry and distraction of modern life, one critical skill which is falling aside is cooking – and we don’t mean microwave dinners or shake-the-box mac and cheese! Having the ability to plan and prepare even a few simple meals will open doors for independence, family life, and even ministry opportunities. You don’t have […]

Church or Not Church – Make The Distinction! MBFLP 134

  The Bible is clear about how a church should be led and managed. What does that tell us about other institutions in our life, though? Is it appropriate to look for the same level of doctrinal agreement, Christian character, and other qualifications, when we consider events and organizations and movements which are not directly […]

Watching With Discernment – MBFLP 133

Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us that a mature believer is able to discern right and wrong, good from evil, because he has had practice evaluating them both and learning which one to choose. This summer, as we get out our students’ reading lists and look at the summertime movie offerings, we need to ask ourselves – […]

Recovering From Legalism – MBFLP 132

  “For by grace you have been saved through faith … not a result of works. lest any man should boast.” The apostle Paul told us that and we all know it … but somehow, we easily turn to legalism when it comes to living out that salvation we received by grace. How can you […]

On The Other Hand … Purity Rings – MBFLP 131

So often a well-intentioned effort can have unexpected – and maybe, undesireable – results. When a marriageble young man sees a likely-looking young woman, but notices a simple ring on her left hand, what does he think? What does the young woman think he’s going to think? And does that match what’s actually going on? […]

Interviewing for Job and College – MBFLP 130

We all have lists – maybe we write them down, maybe they’re in our heads – of the things we want our kids to know when they’re all grown up. Have you ever considered how many things even in early adulthood that take an interview? Getting a job, applying for college, competing for a scholarship […]

Teaching Your Kids to Deal With Failure – MBFLP 129

We can expect life to have disappointments, setbacks, and downright failures – even the best of lives in a fallen world! Adults usually realize they have to be able to take some bad news, learn what they can, repent where they should, and move along. But how about our kids? In their flexible, family-centered, affirming […]

Pregnant When The Time Isn’t Right – MBFLP 128

“Children are a blessing of the LORD,” the Psalm tells us … yet sometimes, we wonder if that’s always true. When you lose your job and then announce that you’re expecting, people look at you funny. Maybe the new baby is closer to big sister than you planned. Maybe you’re in the middle of a […]

Christ and College – Part 2 – MBFLP 127

This episode, we continue with John Calvin Young’s experiences and observations about how to flourish as a Christian in the midst of a secular campus. He talks about choosing courses and professors, recognizing when a friendship is turning to temptation, and the importance of connecting with a church and campus ministry from your first days […]

Growing in Christ at a Secular College – MBFLP 126

Christian parents may struggle with the cost of sending their sons and daughters to a Christian college, and to be honest, some courses of studies are very hard to find among Christian schools — even if you can afford them. Our son John Calvin received scholarships to attend two secular universities, and he found the […]

Changing Your Parenting Style – MBFLP 125

  Every older sibling, sooner later, will say, “You never would have let me do that!” And they’re likely right. The question is not, does your parenting change, but rather, why, and sometimes, why not already?  This episode we look at four very good reasons that your style might change — and some reasons it ought to! Play in […]

Bullied Into Buying – MBFLP 124

Homeschooling allowed us to raise kids that were not peer-dominated, not bullied, not searching for affirmation and validation from every direction. Hooray! The problem is, we parents were not raised that way, and guess what – often we’re the ones with peer group problems. This episode we take an honest look at the way we […]

How Do We Motivate These Kids? – MBFLP 123

We hear this question all the time – when we’re not asking it ourselves. How do you get your kids motivated and doing what they need to? Is it all about compulsion, or is there a positive aspect to it? Coming to you “on the road” in Mystic, Connecticut, we’ll be talking about some ways […]

Danika Cooley Talks About Christian Fiction

What do you think of Christian fiction? Jesus taught in parables and literary forms, and there is a long history of using allegory and illustration to explain doctrinal truth and bring the bare facts of history to life. This episode, we talk with our friend, Christian author Danika Cooley, about the role of fiction and […]

Rough-housing, Noise, and Other Frustrations of Raising Boys – MBFLP 121

One of the things which surprised Melanie as a young mom of boys is their natural inclination to rough-and-tumble play. It’s normal, and some researchers say it’s even helpful. As society has become more and more anxious about masculine behavior and anything which looks “physical,” boys and their families may be wrestling with this idea […]

Voting When There’s Not Much Choice – MBFLP 120

2016 Presidential Election – the eve of Super Tuesday – and you might be feeling some dismay. Only four small states into the primary season, and the field which started with 23 serious candidates has already narrowed to 7. Maybe you look at the choices left and wonder, is it even worth bothering? Am I […]

I Hate It When They Whine – MBFLP 119

  Every parent hates it – that particular sound. WHINING. What can you do about whining before you go stark raving about it? We’ll talk about some practical things you can do to help train your whiner … but beware – sometimes we parents may be doing the same thing, grown-up style! ORIGINAL RELEASE FEBRUARY […]

Teen Romance 2 – Reality Check! – MBFLP 118

The Beatles claimed that “All you need is love!” but any married couple will tell you love or not, there are bills to pay. The Biblical pattern would say that a man considering marriage has to be considering how he’ll provide for it financially – and if you have a teen in love, he needs […]

MBFLP 117 – Teen Romance: This Could Get Serious

  What do you when you find your teenager (or even your pre-teen) has romantic feelings for another young person? How to you address this Biblically? In spite of what some teachers say, the answer is not cut-and-dried, and a lot of parents (and their kids) struggle with it. This episode, we dive in to try […]

MBFLP 116 – The Power of Examples

The New Testament talks a lot about the power of examples for teaching believers the Christian walk. Paul talked about it, Peter talked about it, James talked about it, and most of all, Jesus talked about it. This episode, we take a look at how incredibly important it is to have good examples in a […]

MBFLP 115 – Competition and Athletics

If Christianity values self-denial, self-sacrifice, and love for others, how should we think of the competition and even stylized “combat” of modern athletics? Is it appropriate for a Christian to take part in competitive sports? Is there some contradiction between faith in Jesus and loyalty to a team? Leading into Super Bowl 50, we’ll take […]

MBFLP 114 – Three Days to Un-Stress Dinner

  “I’m hungry, Mom!” or “What’s for dinner, Honey?” – two statements that strike dread in your heart? We tried the once-a-month cooking plan and came to dread it! Instead, Melanie created her own plan which can help you save time and money but offer more flexibility in your menus – and less destruction in your […]

MBFLP 113 – Dealing With A Toxic Church

    The Church is God’s people gathered together, but we know even God’s people have remaining sin in their lives – and sometimes, that can make a good church turn bad, or even toxic. This episode we talk with Andy and Kendra Fletcher of Homeschooling IRL about how to recognize, respond, and recover from […]

MBFLP 112 – Safety on Your New Devices

We can even see it on our website traffic – Christmastime is New Phone Time! A lot of families, especially with teenagers, received new cell phones, tablets, phablets, and laptops recently. Have you talked with your young people about the traps that come with these very useful devices? Do you have a plan to protect […]

MBFLP – Planning a Christ-Centered New Year

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve and -Day? Is it a major revel, or a time of sombre reflection? Or is it a joyful middle, with time for thought and time for fun, too? We talk about our annual two-day observance of the changing calendar in this episode of Making Biblical Family Life Practical! […]

MBFLP 110 – Difficult People At The Holidays

Recently, Harvard University’s Office for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion published a “Holiday Placemat for Social Justice” to help freshmen have “productive conversations” with family members over holiday dinners (story reported by The College Fix). Sounds like a recipe for indigestion … Even without SJW talking points, some people come to the feast loaded for bear. […]

MBFLP 109 – Christmas Baking

We love Christmas for so many reasons, but one thing we look forward to the most is the baking — and since we’re a large family, we do a lot of it. If you’ve got the recipes, the trick becomes how to manage it all – what to cook when, deciding which child should help […]

MBFLP 108 – Boys, Violence, and War

Photo: Neil McGuire / Gratisography  Whether you allow it or not, whether you encourage it or don’t, it seems that boys will naturally gravitate toward games and toys relating to fights, force, and war. If you don’t provide them, they’ll make ’em – to a boy, even a banana becomes a weapon. What do you think […]

MBFLP 107 – Character Building Gifts

So what’s on your Christmas list? No, not “What do you want?” but “What are you going to give?” There truly is a joy of giving, and this week, we talk about things we’ve given our kids – and sometimes, our whole family – that have given lasting enjoyment and good value, too. Join us […]

MBFLP 106 – Teaching Gratefulness

This Thanksgiving-week episode looks at the mandate to be grateful – it’s an expectation and a command in the Bible to be thankful people, people who aren’t marked by discontentment, grumbling, and strife. We’ve probably read and memorized lots of verses about that … but how can we teach it to our family? How can […]

MBFLP 105 – Reaching The Neighborhood Through Caroling

Even in a highly secularized world, the holidays are times when non-religious people often lower their guard against God’s truth. One way we reach out to our neighbors is with the old custom of caroling from house to house. It’s a great time of fellowship, too, and our friends and church-fellows look forward to this […]

MBFLP 104 – Preparing For Christ-Centered Holidays

  As the holiday season comes into view, we’re reminded that Thanksgiving doesn’t make any sense if we don’t focus on the One we’re thanking — even more so, for the annual celebration of His birthday! But all the business and busyness leading up to the celebrations themselves often distract us from the meaning of the […]

MBFLP 103 – Special Needs Homeschooling – Hope and Help!

  We think homeschooling is a great choice for nearly everybody, but what about a family with special needs? Should an “uncertified” parent even think about teaching a special child? Or can they not only succeed but excel at home educating a student with health issues, or developmental delays, or academic gifts, or sensory processing challenges? […]

MBFLP 102 – Family Life Q&A

One thing we’ve seen since we started this ministry is how often families encounter the same questions, the same problems. You’re not alone, and this episode we talk about several questions we’ve heard recently! Show Highlights 1:31 – What do you do when fellow church members are hostile toward your parenting decisions? 5:40 – How […]

MBFLP 101 – Dealing With An Emotional Kid

Every child is going to tend to be more emotional than his grown up parents – or his grown up self – will be. But what about here and now, when you have a child who seems to be in a constant state of meltdown? Is this normal? Is there anything to do about it? […]

Halloween and the Reformation

Halloween and the Reformation Halloween and the Reformation may not seem to have much in common. What does Halloween have to do with the Reformation? In this episode listen as you learn about Halloween alternatives. Be sure to follow this episode several ways! One by subscribing to this podcast here – and another is listening […]

MBFLP 99 – Author Danika Cooley and Her New Luther Biography

This episode we talk with Danika Cooley, author of the Bible Roadtrip curriculum and the upcoming (November 1) biography of Martin Luther, When Lightning Struck. This historical novel aimed at young adult readers relates the story of a young man searching for peace with God, and by his courageous stand for the truth of the […]

MBFLP 98 – The Most Surprising Homeschool Research

This episode Hal talks with Dr. Brian Ray, founder and lead researcher for the National Home Education Research Institute. This year’s release of the landmark Gen2 Survey uncovered a number of unexpected facts about Millennials who were raised “in church” and are now adults. Hal and Dr. Ray start with the most significant, surprising finding […]

MBFLP 97 – Depressed Parents, Depressed Kids

Life in a fallen world means we’ll all have to deal with disappointment, loss, trials, and temptations. It comes with the territory. And it’s nothing remarkable if sometimes we get to feeling a little blue. What happens when the blues get deeper, though? When you or a loved one gets so far in the dumps […]

MBFLP 96 – Homeschooling High School? Sure, Why Not?

  What makes the homeschool mom more anxious than the prospect of high school? But there’s good reason not to fear — and good reasons to stretch yourself and make it happen — when considering your homeschooler’s high school years. Don’t miss this episode – we’ve graduated three and we’ve got an encouraging story to […]

MBFLP 95 – A Christian Attitude About Work

So it’s Labor Day, and we’re talking about our views on work. Do you dread the daily routine? Do you find yourself grumbling about the boss, the co-workers, the housework? And do you find your children aren’t very willing to help around the house? Hmm …We can probably all benefit from a little attitude check […]

MBFLP 94 – Choosing A College

If you’re planning on college for your homeschool grad-to-be, how do you make the choice? Is a Christian college the only acceptable alternative? Should they dive into the mission field of public universities? Or is there a middle ground in a conservative private school? For different reasons, our three graduates so far have ended up […]

MBFLP 93 – Dealing With A Dishonest Child

Kids and their imaginations! It’s normal for little ones to cross over between Realityville and Lala-Land with scarcely a bump. But what if your older child is turning into a real liar? If you find you can’t trust him out of your sight? If you have to listen to everything she says with a grain […]

MBFLP 92 – Family Unity

If sibling rivalry is the negative side of family relationships (see previous episode!), family unity is the positive! The Bible uses so many illustrations of family life to describe our relationship to God and to each other in the church, it’s worth the work to build those positive, joyful relationships at home. This episode, we’ll […]

MBFLP 91 – Sibling Rivalry

If there are siblings in the house, you’ve got to be worried about sibling rivalry. It’s not just an irritation – the Bible gives example after example where siblings and their jealousies had disastrous consequences! But as a practical matter, how can we head off sibling rivalry at home … or respond to it when […]

MBFLP 90 – Boys and Noise

Got boys? Then probably, you’ve got noise! This week we turn to a reader’s question about how to manage the volume (and tone!) of her energetic houseful of boys … four of them, eight and under. We’ve been there, and we’ll talk about the difference between simple boyishness and the things that actually need discipline, […]

MBFLP – Planning For The New School Year

  The new school year is coming … do you have your plans together yet? Or do you shudder at the thought? This episode, we talk about the need to have a plan, but not to obsess over it. You’ll find this episode both challenging and encouraging as Melanie explains her calm, positive approach to […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling Several Ages

If you have more than one child, then chances are the decision to start homeschooling carries the question, “How can I teach more than one grade level at a time?” This episode, we talk about practical lessons we learned along the way of homeschooling six grades at once … with a toddler in the mix, […]

MBFLP – Beginning Homeschooling

News from the government and public schools has been disturbing recently, and homeschool organizations are reporting an increase in inquiries from families who are now considering moving away from the public school option. There are always questions though – is this legal here? Will my kids be able to get into college or a job […]

MBFLP – Celebrating The Fourth When You’re Worried About The Country

It’s been a dramatic – and troubling – week in the news. with controversies flowing from the very center of our governmental processes. We are seeing Christians in dismay, worried that our freedoms are under attack from the very people we expect to secure them. Yet there are reasons to hope, and yes, reasons to […]

MBFLP – Preparing Boys To Support A Family

One of the responsibilities of a husband and father is to provide for his family’s needs. We want our sons to be prepared for that role when they leave our home, but it doesn’t magically happen on their 18th birthday or graduating from college — it comes from lessons learned for many years beforehand! Are […]

MBFLP – Movies, Media, and Teaching Some Discernment

School’s out and the summer movies are releasing! The music and the special effects are amazing, the story lines are gripping — but where are they heading? How can you find the true message woven into the cinema experience? Do your kids know what to look for? This episode, we’ll talk about how we teach […]

MBFLP – Summertime Safety – Ticks, Lyme, and All That

Continuing last episode’s discussion about preparing to enjoy the summer safely, this time we’ll share a surprising discovery we made last summer – and a change in attitude we’ve made concerning a common pest. The times have changed for some insect-borne illnesses, and we’ll share some of our hard-won experience to encourage you to avoid […]

MBFLP – Summertime Safety

Summer’s here again, and the great outdoors beckon! Our family spends a lot of time in the water, on the road, in campgrounds and forests … so we’ve had our share of “adventures.” This episode we talk about practical things we all need to remember as we take our families off for our own treks […]

MBFLP – Helping Siblings Love Each Other

Is sibling rivalry an issue at your house? The Bible often speaks of love among brothers – it’s used as an example of how we should get along in the church, for instance. Yet that image doesn’t have much meaning if our relationship with our earthly brothers is marked by anger, resentment, and hurt feelings, […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling As Discipleship

Homeschoolers think about academic excellence a great deal – it’s one of the most common reasons people undertake home education at all! But are we losing a Biblical balance when we make schoolwork our focus? What if Scripture gave a different priority for our educational efforts? This episode we open up the concept of homeschooling […]

MBFLP – Teaching Writing with David Vogel

The written word gives us to power to reach across distances and even through time, to hear from writers long departed and to speak to unborn generations! Yet writing well is a skill that many of us struggle to learn, or give up as something for professionals and teachers. Say it isn’t so! This episode, […]

MBFLP – Early Homeschooling

Are your children brilliant? Precocious readers? Showing signs of early genius? Or do you just wonder when it’s time to start homeschooling a curious youngster? This episode, we talk about the idea of early homeschooling – is it a good idea? What’s reasonable to expect? Are there any pitfalls or cautions? If you or your […]

MBFLP – How To Get The Most From Conventions

So you’re going to a homeschool convention, but you’ve heard stories (and warnings) from friends – some are so big, they’re overwhelming. There’s so much walking! And what will you do with the kids? This episode, we talk about practical ways to get the most enjoyment, encouragement, and help from any homeschool convention. Recorded in […]

MBFLP – Why Should You Go To A Homeschool Conference?

This is the season of homeschool conventions – from small, intimate convocations in rural areas, to megaconferences with more attendees than our hometown. They’re the boon and the bane of many homeschoolers’ year. Are they really necessary, with all the information and resources on the Internet? Is there a benefit to the crowds, the travel, […]

MBFLP – Two Vans, 300 Fans, and One Great God

We’re just back from a 3600-mile trip to North Dakota and back. It wasn’t our longest trip but it was certainly one of our most eventful … When we lost oil pressure in Wisconsin, we wondered if God was sending us a message. When the engine seized in the middle of an Iowa intersection, we […]

MBFLP – Teaching A Christian World View

Are you satisfied with a Christianity that stays safe and unthreatening in its Sunday box, or do you believe Jesus is even Lord of math and science, politics and history, philosophy and ethics too? Your framework and lens for understanding things around you forms the basis of your worldview, and it’s important not only to […]

MBFLP – Loving Your Children Like Jesus Does

We all know the passage about Jesus and the children – “Let them come to Me, and do not forbid them …” – but what more can we learn about loving our children like Jesus does? What can He teach us about discipline? Or about mercy? Or about loving someone who really isn’t loveable at all, […]

MBFLP – When the Parent-Child Relationship Cools

When the Parent Child Relationship Cools… We all have those moments – when we sense a distance or coolness from our child, when something has gone wrong in your relationship. It may be a young kid or an adult son or daughter, it may be in the middle of conflict or a gradual drift, but […]

MBFLP – Is Your Child A Sizzler?

Every parent has moments of wonder about just how much energy children have. Then … there are kids who are more than just the average “busy” children. Carol Barnier, the author of How To Get Your Child Off The Refrigerator And On To Learning, calls these kids “Sizzlers”, and in this fun interview, we talk […]

MBFLP – When Should You Get Your Kids Their Driver’s License?

When we were teens, we couldn’t wait to get our driver’s license — it was a rite of passage! But we hear over and over in homeschooling circles a refrain that leaves us puzzled – and concerned: Families reluctant to help their young men and young women take this step toward adulthood, and in some […]

MBFLP – Romance Once You’ve Got Kids

Romance Once You’ve Got Kids It’s Valentine’s Day this week, and for parents with small children, no money for a sitter, and no relatives nearby, the response might be “So what?” It can be discouraging when the world is full of ads urging dinner out, expensive jewelry, and barrels of roses, when your life is […]

MBFLP – Millennials, Church, and Family

Studies and research on the Millennial Generation, those in their twenties and thirties now, can pretty disturbing. Indications are this group of young adults is moving away from their parents’ values and institutions in ways we haven’t seen since the sixties — and in some areas, making a radical shift in the nation’s culture. What […]

MBFLP – Dealing With The Prodigal Child

It’s a Christian parent’s nightmare – the child who walks away from the family and the faith they were taught. Is there anything we can do but wait and pray? Carol Barnier, author of (affiliate link!) Engaging Today’s Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope, was that child herself, and in this riveting interview […]

MBFLP – Teaching Kids Respect and Obedience

It’s one of our “frequently asked questions” – How in the world can I get my kids to obey? How do you teach them respect? And it’s not just because obedient kids are agreeable – we know it’s important for their safety, and it’s Biblical. This episode, we talk about how to teach these important […]

MBFLP – Handling Flu Season With Grace

It’s not just cold and flu season – this year’s battle with influenza is worse than usual. How do you deal with the challenge of sickness at home while homeschooling? Does your response to sickness show your faith or cast doubt on it? How does love for the brethren enter into your family’s handling of […]

MBFLP – Getting Back On Track After The Holidays

Whew, that was busy! The season from Thanksgiving to Christmas is overwhelming enough when it’s not as short as this year’s calendar made it. Now we’re safely past New Year’s and if you’re like us, it’s time to get the train out of the ditch and back on the rails. This episode we talk about […]

MBFLP – Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

For many families, Christmas is the time they update their smart phones, unwrap a new laptop, or add a phablet to the home network. Once, concerned parents were told, “Keep the computer in the family room and turn the screen where everybody can see it.” That’s not enough to prevent mischief online any more, since […]

MBFLP – Talking To Your Kids About Sex

Talking To Your Kids About Sex Talking to your kids about sex – you know, “The sex talk!” is something we all try to avoid.  It’s a difficult thing for most parents – gathering the courage to have “The Talk” with our children. In this podcast, we discuss the best ways to talk to your children. […]

MBFLP – Hope Auer Interview

This episode our guest is Hope Auer. She’s the author of the award-winning novel A Cry From Egypt which she began when she was just a 13-year-old homeschool student. Now in her early twenties, Hope has already won Book of the Year for her first novel, which has been selected as part of three curriculum […]

MBFLP – Saving Money At Christmas

It’s the most commercial time of the year, the Christmas shopping season. For some businesses, the sales for these few short weeks make up for months of sluggish economy. For many of us, though, our own personal economy isn’t ready for big spending … as much as we might like to! This episode, we talk with […]

MBFLP – Choosing Meaningful Gifts for the Family

We like the whole giving-and-receiving tradition of Christmas because it celebrates God’s greatest gift – His Son, bringing His grace — and face it, it’s just fun! But sometimes we get discouraged at not just the commercialization of the holiday, but how thoughtless and mechanical that gift buying can become. This episode we’ll talk about […]

MBFLP – Getting Along With Extended Family At The Holidays

We all have them – people we love too much to ignore, but can really make a holiday gathering awkward. The ones who ask your homeschooled kids wouldn’t they rather ride the nice yellow school bus, or the ones who poke the new father in the ribs and ask “Don’t you know what causes that?”, […]

MBFLP – Celebrating Thanksgiving

Holidays are meant to be times to remember and celebrate God’s work in the lives of our family and nation, but too often we let the celebration overrun the memory. This episode we talk about how to make your family’s Thanksgiving more meaningful – and more fun, too! Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: […]

MBFLP – Teaching Kids About Liberty and Government

On the eve of the mid-term elections, how do we talk about the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity? How can we help keep the next generation from trading our hard-won freedom for supposed security or momentary gain? Do we appreciate the importance of even these small local races that clutter up the […]

MBFLP – Celebrating Reformation Day

On October 31, 1517, a young theologian and priest named Martin Luther posted a list of debate questions on the door of the university church in Wittemburg, Germany. What was intended as a invitation for scholars and theologians to meet and consider, became the starting point of a sweeping reformation of Christ’s church – and […]

MBFLP – Our Biggest Parenting Struggle

In your time as a parent, what’s been your biggest struggle? Was it a single event, or a certain age, or an ongoing battle? We asked our Facebook community and were overwhelmed by the response! This episode, we’ll talk about our biggest surprise as parents and what we wish somebody had warned us about. […]

MBFLP – In God We Trust; All Others Bring Data

Often we think we know, but can’t prove it to a skeptic. Homeschooling is one example; we like what we see in our family, but admit that maybe our experience isn’t the norm. Lawmakers, public school officials, and the media want something more concrete than our personal story; that’s where it’s important to have serious, […]

MBFLP – What Homeschool Grads Wish We Knew (Or Had Discovered Sooner)

Have you ever wondered, if you could “do it all over again,” would you do things differently? Maybe you’ve graduated one student, but have a younger sibling following. It’s fairly easy to see whether your academics were on target, but what about the bigger issues of life? Is there time for a parenting tune-up? Or […]

MBFLP – Boy Question Free-For-All

Another of our popular sessions answering your questions about raising sons — How can you encourage sons to pursue their individual gifts? How do you keep rough-and-tumble from coming fighting and bullying? How do you teach your sons not to look down on their sisters for being girls? How can you help make your faith […]

MBFLP – Family Devotions (and how to get them done)

What can be more Biblical than studying the Bible together as a family … after all, we all know you’re supposed to teach these things diligently to your children, and talk of them “when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy […]

MBFLP – Balancing Family and Business in a Family Business

One of the things that makes a family business attractive is the freedom to have more time with your spouse and kids! Yet entrepreneurs quickly learn there’s a balancing act going on — it’s no longer your employer which drives your schedule, but your own sense of urgency and ambition! This show, we talk with […]

MBFLP – Entrepreneurship As A Family Thing

In 2006, Hal left the corporate world and he and Melanie started their own company. Three years later, God gave them the business which actually took off and grew, the business they’re in today. Are you interested in “coming home” and running a family business? What should you think about before anything else? And what […]

MBFLP – Academic Success In College

So your student has graduated from homeschooling and moved into the big new world of classrooms, professors, and study carrels in the library. You’ve got him all loaded up to confront humanism and hedonism … but will he be able to handle the homework? How will he adapt to a scheduled meeting with a hundred […]

MBFLP – Staying Christian In College

    Christian students often find themselves led to secular colleges and universities because of their desired major studies, or for financial aid, or for other reasons. If that’s where they’re going, how can they prepare for the challenges of the classroom and campus life? Where can they find Christian fellowship, encouragement and support? What […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling High School

When we started homeschooling, we weren’t planning to do high school at home – but now we’ve graduated three who all went on to college on scholarship. You can do high school at home, even the subjects you hated (or missed) when you were a teenager, and you can actually enjoy it, too! Listen in […]

MBFLP – How To Start Your School Year When You Feel Like A Homeschool Failure

When homeschooling hasn’t been going like you hoped, it can be really hard to get excited about starting a new school year. Get practical help from a family who has been there! Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Spotify | Android | Email | TuneIn | More

MBFLP – Why We Started Homeschooling — And Why We Continued

We decided to homeschool our kids before we had kids to do it to — but now, eight kids later, we’ve found so many reasons for homeschooling that we didn’t know when we started! Join us and we’ll share some reasons we found on both sides of the decision! Play in new window | […]

MBFLP – Discernment and the Summer Movies

  It’s the summer movie season and lots of our kids are lining up at the Multiplex for one opening night after another. How do you choose appropriate movies for your family, or give reasonable guidance to your youngsters, or is there a framework for a Christian to really engage the cinema at all? Join […]

MBFLP – Fun and Safety On The Water

It’s summer, Hal and Melanie are on vacation, and water safety is a big concern. Peter walked on water when Jesus called him (Matthew 14) but most of us don’t have that direct command! We share some thoughts about how we train our kids to be safe around the lake, pool, or beach – even […]

MBFLP – Q&A About Boys 8 and Under

This episode we dive in to answer your questions about your younger boys. We all know boys are noisy but a listener asks “Why?” and we offer some possible reasons. A mom asks how to balance the attention she gives to each child when some require a lot more direction and guidance than others. and another asks the […]

MBFLP – Stars, Signs, and Seasons

Summertime’s a great time to get outside and search the stars. We all learn a few constellations and know what the planets are, even if we can’t find them. But did you know God had a deeper purpose than just decorating our night horizons? Author and astronomer Jay Ryan joins us to talk about the […]

MBFLP – Christianity and Patriotism

With the Independence Day holiday just on the horizon, do we have a Biblical understanding of our “dual citizenship” – where we enjoy a citizenship in the Kingdom of God, shared with all believers from all ages, but also an earthly citizenship in a particular time of history? Do we recognize the blessings of our […]

MBFLP – Dealing with Conflict with Tweens and Teens

  How much anger is “normal” for a pre-teen (or a teen)-aged boy? Is there anything to be done about it, or is the best we can do just to hang on and hope they grow out of it? Actually, with our six sons, we’ve seen our share of hormonally-driven outbursts and rage, and we’ve […]

MBFLP – When There’s Sickness In The House

The traditional wedding vows promise to be faithful “in sickness and in health,” but often that’s not just the illness of the husband or wife–and not something to be treated with over-the-counter products. How do you manage a family and home when illness and injury strike? What do you do when a family member has […]

MBFLP – Youth Groups – Good, Bad, or Depends?

Reports circulating online suggest that large numbers of evangelical Christians are skeptical that youth ministries are effective – or even Biblical. Yet thousands of American kids (and their parents) are involved with the local church youth group, and some families won’t consider attending a church that doesn’t have one. Are these common branches of church […]

MBFLP – Answering Your Questions About Raising Boys

We’re answering real questions from our friends, fans, and listeners, about the challenge and blessing of raising boys – the early summer edition! In this episode, we deal with – What to do about lying and dishonesty – Peer pressure about entertainment – A very clingy, affectionate boy – Balancing confidence and humility   RESOURCES […]

MBFLP – Coming of Age Ceremonies

  Society expects young people are nothing more than hormone-driven slackers who won’t be useful members of society until they’re out of college … if then. That’s not what we find in Scripture, though! If you’re going to encourage your young people to step up to adulthood instead of a teen-culture holding pattern, you might […]

MBFLP – Entrepreneurship with Ethics with John Dodd

  There’s a lot of talk about doing business from home, whether it’s Mom and Dad starting a family business, or teenagers creating a microbusiness project. What you believe about money, wealth, and the government’s role, will make a difference in how you go about that business — and how successful you are! This week we […]

MBFLP – Transitioning to Adulthood with Israel Wayne

  We all want to raise competent, well-prepared adults as our children grow up. Sometimes our best intentions, though, could be interfering with their growth and may result in something quite different than we hope — even a broken relationship with a twenty-something son or daughter. What’s happening, and more importantly, what can do to […]

Making College Visits Count – MBFLP 28

This week, we talk about the importance of making a visit to any college your students may be considering — and more importantly, how to get the biggest impact for each hour you spend on campus! We’ve graduated three who all went to college, and while they went to three very different schools, we learned […]

MBFLP – Books Boys Love, and Getting Boys To Love Books

Some educators and librarians so are desperate to get boys to read something, anything, that they’ll turn a blind eye to any but the most objectionable material. “Well, at least they’re reading,” they’ll say. Yet deep down, we all know that the junky material we use to get them to read is likely to give them a […]

MBFLP – Let’s Talk Husbands & Dads: Love Like Jesus

    The Christian homeschool world is in an uproar over the resent resignations of two influential leaders in the movement called “Patriarchy.” Does the Bible really teach the things we are hearing in these cases? Or does the Scripture say something quite different about the role of husband and father in a Biblically-focused family? […]

MBFLP – Let’s Talk Wives & Moms: Controlling our Tongues

  This week, Hal’s out of town, so Melanie takes the opportunity to chat with moms about a temptation many of us have – to use our tongues in the wrong way with our husbands and children. Join her to talk about how to bless our husbands and motivate them to serve God instead of […]

MBFLP – Cheap Family Travel 2 – Food

  The never-failing question “What’s for supper?” doesn’t go away when you’re on the road. The problem is that even on the dollar menu, a fast food stop could be $20 to $30–for lunch! Hal and Melanie take their family of ten from coast to coast, and they’ve learned how to keep the crew fed […]

Raising Real Men on Making Biblical Family Life Practical

Do you have boys? If so, you are not alone! We have boys, too! Six of them, counting the ones that have grown up …and we’ve felt like pulling our hair out somedays, too. Is there a way to teach those stinky (well, if they’re teens), sassy (sometimes), and bickering (it happens here, too!) sons […]

MBFLP – Cheap Family Travel

Think of family travel and you probably think of vacation. But what other adventures could your family undertake if you could save 40 to 60% on the cost of “conventional” travel? Could they join Dad on business travel? Plan the ultimate field trip? Make a mission week a family project? Last year Hal and Melanie […]

MBFLP – Kids in Business with Philip and Carroll Sue Priddy

Changes in the economy and the culture are making it more challenging to maintain a Christian witness in the business world. It’s more and more crucial that we help our children develop an entrepreneurial business sense so they’re not so bound to the corporate lifestyle. Our guests this episode are Philip and Carroll Sue Priddy, […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling With Special Needs

This week we talk about homeschooling when your student has special needs–and why home education is a blessing to them. Our guests are the special needs consultants from the Home School Legal Defense Association, Betty Statnick, Krisa Winn, and Faith Berens. Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Spotify | Android | Email | TuneIn […]

MBFLP – Is There Such A Thing BIBLICALLY As “Men’s Work” and “Women’s Work”?

  On this episode, Hal and Melanie dive into the controversial question of gender roles and work — is there such a thing, Biblically speaking, as exclusively “men’s work” or “women’s work”? Is there a distinction mandated in Scripture? Or have we adopted (or rebelled from) a social preference which might change with time, place, […]

MBFLP – Questions and Answers

This week Hal and Melanie answer your questions! How do you handle the transition from sweet little boy to standoffish young man? When’s a good time to start sports with a young boy? What do you do when your sons persistently “don’t hear” your directions? Do you have any ideas for an anniversary celebration for […]

MBFLP – How To Be Happily Married While Homeschooling

Everyone tells you that homeschooling isn’t an educational choice, but a lifestyle! Should we be surprised if we discover that homeschooling has an impact on our marriage? It’s true, and if we’re not watchful, our marriage could be a weak spot in our family’s new endeavor. Hal and Melanie have been married for 27 years […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling Boys

Homeschooling is a great option for families with sons because frankly, institutional classrooms are not very friendly to normal, active, distractible young boys. On the other hand, the same traits which make it hard to teach boys in a schoolroom setting can make it challenging at home, too! This week we talk about how boys […]

MBFLP – Homeschooling In Hard Times

So many of us began homeschooling out of conviction that God wanted us to do it. Our commitment can be shaken if we come on hard times. We’ve homeschooled through job loss, high-risk pregnancy, financial challenge, and stage IV cancer, and we learned it can be done. This week we talk about why you ought […]

MBFLP – Christ Centered Sports

This is the biggest sports season of the year–the weeks leading to the Super Bowl. Even non-fans get excited about the spectacle to come. But some Christians say that believers shouldn’t be involved in competitive sports at all. This week we look at the Biblical view of sports–yes, there is one!–and talk with Earl Pendleton, […]

MBFLP – Electronics and Temptation

Many of our families received new or updated electronics this Christmas — they’re tremendous fun, and they’re useful not only for entertainment but also education, business, household management, and so much more. However, they’re also a gateway for many kinds of temptation and trouble if we’re not aware and don’t take precautions. This week, Hal […]

MBFLP – Inspiring Your Kids At New Year’s

So it’s the time of year to reflect and make resolutions. Or is it? This episode, we look at the question whether Christians should consider “New Year’s Resolutions” (and why we think it’s a reasonable, Biblical idea), and we share some neat ideas which make this an annual don’t-miss event for our whole family! Links […]

MBFLP – Christmas Special

Join us for this year’s caroling party – recorded live in our home with 35 of our friends! We’ll talk about the Christian origin of the Christmas tree (yes, it is!), share two of our favorite recipes, and sing, sing, sing! Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Spotify | Android | Email | TuneIn […]

MBFLP – Character Building Gift-Giving

It’s a strange time of year, when people gather on Thanksgiving to appreciate what God has given them, then the next morning rush out to fight over their next acquisitions. No wonder some thoughtful people–Christians and otherwise–decry the materialism of the holiday shopping season! Yet it’s quite Biblical to celebrate special days with gifts. How […]

MBFLP – Grandparents and Homeschooling

Many of us set out to homeschool our children like pioneers leaving for the vast, open frontier. Sometimes the parents who raised us are anxious about the decision–“What are you doing with my grandkids?”–and sometimes they want to help. And why not? Join us as we talk with Rich and Barb Heki, the founders of […]

MBFLP – Christ-Centered Holidays

We’ve probably cooked 75 turkeys or more in the course of our marriage, not to mention setting up about 40 Christmas trees and celebrating no less than 168 birthdays together. Traditions are important, and feasting is Biblical! But sometimes our celebrations can be stressful or even filled with conflict. What can we do to center […]

MBFLP – Homeschool Politics – With HSLDA’s Mike Smith and Rick Boyer of Take Back The Land

  This week we talk with HSLDA’s Mike Smith about the importance of the Parental Rights Amendment, and with Rick Boyer of “Take Back The Land” about why we need to teach leadership in our home schools. These interviews were recorded at the HSLDA National Christian Homeschool Leadership Conference in Ellicott City, Maryland, in September. […]

MBFLP – Sharing Jesus With Your Kids – with Dennis Gunderson, “Your Child’s Profession of Faith”

This week, we talked with veteran pastor and author Dennis Gunderson about sharing the gospel with your children. What goes into effective family devotions? How early can a child really believe and be saved? And what if you see the fruit of repentance and faith–but your pastor may be skeptical? Join us for this encouraging, […]

Raising Real Men

The culture seems totally adrift on the concept of real, Biblical manhood–and it’s having an impact on boys and young men, even in our own families! God has plans and expectations for our sons, but the manly virtues we want to see when they’re grown are mighty challenging in the immature, untrained form we see […]

Welcome to the Program!

This is our short introduction to who we are — the Christian, homeschooling parents of eight — and what we hope to provide with this program — a dose of practical help in moving from vision to reality in your quest for a more Biblically-oriented family life! Play in new window […]

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