Best of HIRL: The Educated Parent

Free homeschool podcast about maintaining an education as parents.We home educators spend a lot of time educating our kids. But what about us? Are we taking the time to learn more, discover more, and be curious?

This episode of Homeschooling in Real Life is dedicated to you, the homeschooling parent. We want to see you grow and thrive in your role as parent educator, and to that end we’re talking about the reasons to educate yourself as well as the how-to. Let’s get learning!

 


SHOW NOTES:

Recommended Resources:

Hoopla – Library digital borrowing

Khan Academy – Free education

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Previous Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 91 – Is Me Time Necessary?

Music clips used on this episode:
School Boy Heart by Jimmy Buffett – Buy it here on iTunes


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

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

Watch the trailer here!


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 is mostly Mom’s. It takes two hours to get ready to go anywhere, as you fight through the necessary clothing changes, diaper changes, baby nursings, and so on before you depart. When you have three little ones and only two hands, that’s reality. Don’t be surprised that you’re overwhelmed – give yourself some grace!

We wish we’d known that having an eighth child at 45 would be less of a jolt than having a third child at 31. We didn’t realize that as new babies joined the family, the older children were growing more and more capable and helpful. With some training, even your six- or seven-year-old can take some of your load off! Don’t miss out on that help – make the investment to teach them household skills, and you’ll be training them for life as well as getting a hand up on your present-day stress.

Don’t Freak Out!

If you’re just starting homeschooling, you might be worried – can I really do this? What if I mess them up?

With the younger ones, you really can’t wreck their education. Preschoolers and toddlers need you to read them stories and let them play, pretend, and explore. Don’t try and push them into academics too early – if they’re not developmentally ready, it won’t work, and it will only convince them that school is unpleasant. Don’t destroy their natural curiosity and love of learning!

What about babies? We never centered school around the kitchen table or a row of desks. Rather, Melanie found a comfortable chair (she liked the recliner) so she could nurse the baby or cuddle them while they slept. A book case on one side held the school materials and a child-sized table and chair on the other kept everything within arm’s reach. Homeschooling isn’t like a classroom and doesn’t have to look like one. We found babies really weren’t disrupters at all.

Toddlers, now, are disrupters, and no mistake. Remember little ones have little attention spans. Don’t expect them to sit still for long at all. When they run up to you and interrupt the formal school, it’s best to let them – don’t try to say, “We’ll be done in 20 minutes, Sweety,” because the one thing they can concentrate on is whining. Instead, tell the older students what to do for a few minutes, then take the toddler in your lap, give them three or four minutes of eye contact and interaction, and then let them go play again. First attention is the fastest!

In fact, they’ll learn what they need at the early ages if you just keep them nearby and talk to them. You can teach colors, numbers, and other basic facts just in the course of family life. Keep some quiet toys in the school room, buy them some child size household tools (brooms and such), and let them help with tasks like folding towels or sorting the silverware.

And when you’re starting your primary students, don’t push them too hard either. Whatever you teach them at six years old, they’ll be seeing and practicing over and over for years to come. It won’t hurt if you need to skip a day or go back and repeat something. We’ve had four graduate homeschooling and go to college on scholarships; there’s a time to step up the academic game, but it’s not in primary school!

Be sure you adapt your household expectations. Your family is on a mission from God, and that mission probably isn’t “Be ready to welcome the camera crew from Architectural Digest.” If your home is occupied 24/7 instead of empty all day, and doubles as a school, laboratory, and business center as well as dormitory … then make the house work for you, and not you for the house!  Disposable products, simpler menus, and children’s help on the chores (i.e., not up to Grandma’s skill level) can give you the time and energy to do more important things in the lives of your family, church, and community. (And Dad – don’t expect angels to sing if you help out around the house. It’s just the right thing to do.)

Want to know more? Need more practical ideas? Then listen in!

RESOURCES WE MENTIONED

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope by Hal and Melanie Young

Interested in having Hal or Melanie speak at your event? CLICK HERE for information!

Come Away Weekend – our marriage retreat and giveaway – Flat Rock, NC – October 19-21

Special Needs Conference for Gifted and Struggling Learners – Orlando, FL – November 16-17

Middle Schoolers Online – MBFLP 209

Should your middle schooler be online?
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 kids are graduating into demands computer literacy … and expects to find a current social media footprint. How can we both protect our younger kids and prepare them for the real world just a few years ahead? This episode, we’ll start the conversation on middle schoolers and the online world …

 

Should your middle schooler be online?

Some Announcements … We are still celebrating the release of our new book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope … and we are getting some fantastic first-reader reviews! CLICK HERE to see a sample … or to order your own copy.  Background information: This week’s episode is in response to several of those reviews!

We’re scheduling upcoming events … We’ve recently finished agreements for events in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida … and we have plans to be in Maryland for a private event, soon, too. CLICK HERE to see our newest plans … and if you’d like to have us speak at your church, retreat, conference, or other event, VISIT OUR SPEAKING EVENT WEBSITE HERE.

Big HELLO to our new listeners on iHeartRadio! Be sure to come here to check out the show notes and links we mention on the air …


So what about middle schoolers and time online?

Dr. Twenge says that studies indicate the average high school senior now spends six hours per day online – including two and a quarter hours in text messaging, alone. Where is this time coming from? She shows that it comes from less time in homework, less time in extracurricular activities, less time working after-school jobs, and much less time just hanging out with friends “in real life.” This is undermining their social and emotional developments in many ways that explain the alarm and hysteria coming from college campuses these days!

There is also some correlation with the rise in teenage mental illness, including self-harming behaviors, and obsessive use of social media.

So it should be obvious that we don’t want to drop our pre-teens into that mix when they are in their most uprooted, emotional, hormonal, and generally unstable time of life. It wouldn’t be wise, it wouldn’t be prudent, and it simply wouldn’t be kind.

Instead, let’s hold off on social media for young people until they’re back on an even emotional keel – maybe 15 or 16. At that point, we recommend starting them off with lots of supervision and advice. Why? Because like it or not, social media has replaced the front porch and casual relationships in church, neighborhood, and community for establishing a basic public reputation. It’s expected. That means we need to coach our young people in appropriate online behavior, just like our parents or grandparents coached us–what’s appropriate and how we should act where the neighbors can hear or the community can see.

What about other uses of the net?

We need to recognize that the old “electronic babysitter,” the television of our youth, has been supplemented or replaced by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the rest. Screen time is still screen time, with all its differences and similarities. Is there a place for simple entertainment use? Yes, and sometimes you need that “babysitter” – to calm an anxious child quiet in the doctor’s waiting room, or maybe to keep fidgety kids in their seats on long car trips. But let’s be honest about it and recognize it for what it is–don’t just drift into habits we’ll regret.

Meanwhile, think about boundaries and limitations you need to establish, and put them in place early. You’ll get a lot less pushback and complaining if your pre-teens have grown up knowing these boundaries, like accountability software, supervision, and time limits. They’re good guardrails to have, no matter what age you start–just realize it’s easier the earlier you get them in place.

Want to know more about middle schoolers and wisdom in technology use? Check out chapter 7, “Media, Gaming, and Discernment,” in our new book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope.

Middle School Q & A – MBFLP 208

Real life Q and A from parents like you with middle schoolers

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 with?” That’s the meat of this week’s podcast – real live Q&A about dealing with the challenges of tweens!

Real life Q and A from parents like you with middle schoolers

Whether you call them pre-teens, tweens, middle-schoolers, or something else, your child will go through a transitional period between “clearly a little kid” to “definitely a teenager.” That catches most of us by surprise. Why is that? Probably because we’re anticipating the physical changes – his voice cracks, she starts her cycle, he’s got a proud new whisker, she is starting to get a figure. Before those outward changes appear, there’s a tidal wave of hormones that start the body’s transformation, and those hormones cause all sorts of effects in their thinking, their emotions, and even their spiritual lives.

What’s more important, our families stumble into a relationship minefield at this point. If we don’t recognize what’s happening and handle it right, we can end up with strained, bent, or broken relationships with our pre-teens.

But it’s also an opportunity. If we can come alongside our sons and daughters during this time and give them understanding, guidance, and encouragement – as well as discipleship and discipline when needed – we can lay foundations for a great relationship during the exciting years ahead!

Questions we addressed … 

7:21 – They’re so addleheaded in school
11:21 – Highly emotional but lacking in perspective
13:03 – They make wild assertions with no basis in reality
14:16 – The personal challenge of discipleship
14:56 – How to manage a changing school situation
17:37 – What about transitioning to adulthood – even with special needs
20:32 – Suddenly, there’s social anxiety
23:36 – He’s struggling in school and hates it
26:35 – A normally friendly boy growing quiet and withdrawn
28:01 – Tips for overcoming shyness

Resources we recommended …

Our new book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope

Read reviews here

Dianne Craft’s Brain Integration Therapy Manual

Our growing selection of classic, character-building audiobooks

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 might laugh about when they’re two, can wreck their lives when they’re twenty … and make your home intolerable when they’re sixteen. So what can we do to start – and continue – teaching the critical habit of self-control?


 

New
by
Hal and Melanie Young
CLICK HERE to find out more! 

 


What Does the Bible Tell Us?

The Scriptures warn against being led by our impulses and appetites. The Proverbs are full of warnings about the outcome of anger, drunkenness, laziness, gluttony, lust … TLDR, it doesn’t end well for the person “whose god is their belly, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:21-22 list “self-control” alongside love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in someone. That says it’s important, and it also should encourage us to pray for it – for our children and ourselves!

Our children are our disciples and they learn from our example … whether good or bad, and as Jesus said, “everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40 ESV).  That should encourage us to try to be the kind of persons we want our kids to become.

Some Practical Ideas

Feelings are real but they may not be accurate. The Lord tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things …” (Jeremiah 17:9) so we can’t trust every feeling that comes up.  Talk with your kids about what they’re feeling and why they think that is. Help them discover whether there’s really a reason to feel so angry or weepy or fearful.

Realize there are times when they really can’t control their emotions.  The pre-teen years are so filled with hormones, it is nearly impossible for the young adolescent to handle them. When they’re in an emotional storm, you may need to comfort and calm them before you can have a rational conversation again. This will pass; when they settle down, it’s good to have that discussion with them.

Help them see that self-control (and self-discipline) offers many rewards. A child who can keep his temper or his tears in check is not as likely to be bullied. If they learn to rein in emotional outbursts and blurted observations, they can save themselves a lot of embarrassment and apologies. And learning to defer their immediate desires in order to finish a task or reach toward a goal will be great preparation for a useful adulthood.

Encourage them to reach up to adult roles early. When ours are 12- or 13 years old, we make a formal transition – they’re no longer “little kids” but now “young adults, in training.” We encourage them to take more responsibility for themselves and contribute more to the work around the house – with more freedom and privilege granted as they take on more responsibility. And our parenting has to transition from “direction” to “advice” as they mature – we want to them to be ready to step into full, independent adulthood sooner rather than later, and that means a lot of coaching and advice to get them prepared.

Teaching Self-Control is a Long Process

It starts as soon as you teach them to dress themselves, go to the potty, and come when you call. It won’t end until they’re fully capable and on their own! But as they grow up, keep the goal in mind – a fully matured, self-disciplined, responsible man or woman after all those years of discipleship. With that goal ahead, you’ll be ready to capitalize on every opportunity to encourage and guide them.

 

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 in and see why!

References

Abigail Shrier, “‘Knock it Off’ and ‘Shake it Off’: The Case for Dad-Style Parenting”
Wall Street Journal, 3/12/18 – online (subscription)

The commentary on Albert Mohler’s podcast, “The Briefing,” may be helpful – 3/16/18, segment 3

 



Best of HIRL: Knights in Training

Free homeschool podcast about Heather Haupt's book, Knights in TrainingRaising boys can be tricky business, no? And if we have a heart to see our boys really change the world with solid character, big ideas, and compassionate hearts, we can feel defeated when we see them being goofy and a little out of control as kids.

That’s exactly why we wanted to have a solid conversation with friend and author Heather Haupt, who has written a book about teaching our boys what it means to take the high road and be “knights” who fight for honor and protect the weak in our world.

Heather has hands-on tools and plenty of encouragement to share. We love this episode!


SHOW NOTES:

Heather Haupt.com
Knights in Training
Sandy Cove Family Camp – Homeschool Week

Recommended Resources:

None

Get Social With Us:

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Previous Episodes Mentioned:
Parenting Principles over Formulas with Heather Haupt – Episode 142

Music clips used on this episode:
None used


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly Adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24 and 26 only. If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.

Visit  here to learn more.


 

Showing LOVE after Valentine’s Day is OVER!

Showing LOVE after Valentine's Day is Over ... with The Real Kathy Lee Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for me as a mom. I so enjoy getting up early to write my kids love notes, set the table with candles and red, sparkly runners and cook a special breakfast. I want my children to know on this day that they are loved!
Valentine's Day Once Valentine’s Day was over, I started questioning my attitude towards the other 364 days of the year. Did I work hard to make sure my kids know they were loved everyday? If so, how do I accomplish that and how do I encourage you to love your kids every February 15th – February 13

I came up with a few things…

  1. Write love notes throughout the year. Be creative. Write on their bathroom mirror with lipstick, leave notes on the pillows, tape notes to the back of the seat where they sit in the car, put notes in their books, in their backpacks, in their lunchboxes. Share specific things you love about them or positive things you have noticed them doing.
  2. Spend TIME with them.  I recently saw a news clip about young children and tablet time. The reporter stated that it is fine for young children to be on devices as long as adults were engaged with the children. They showed a video of one child and two adults sitting on a sofa. All three people were on their own device. This is NOT what I am talking about. Real time with your kids means devices are put away. Conversations are happening. Dinner Time, time in the car, while tucking in at night, etc… In order to have a real relationship with anyone, you MUST spend time with him or her.
  3. Honor their work. If your child paints a picture for you, hang it up. If they want to sing you a song, stop what you are doing and listen to it (it usually takes less than two minutes). If they want to read you their story, listen! Honoring their work will teach them that their work matters!
  4. Be careful with your conversations. We have all been guilty of getting on the phone with a girlfriend and firing off. Maybe you were upset with a friend, your partner, or even your child? If you think your child is busy playing and not paying attention, WRONG. They are listening to every word. Decide to share positive things instead… about your friend, your partner, and your child. Words are powerful so choose them carefully.
  5. Create a home that is welcoming for your children and their friends. I am honored when kids say they feel comfortable in my home. I love it when my kids want us to host the party, the bible study, and the special event. I want every one who walks into my home to feel welcomed and relaxed. Hopefully, your children will want to follow your lead and have that kind of home when they grow up and leave the nest.

I am far from perfect as a mom. However, I am confident that my kids will know that I love them and I want them to grow up and love well.

How will you show love today???

Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. Just email me at kathy@thehomegrownpreschooler.com or shoot me a message on social media.

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

When You Lose Your Junk (with Ashley Smoot)

When You Lose Your Junk - with Ashley Smoot and the Real Kathy LeeToday’s show was full of honesty. We covered some topics that have come up from conversations with moms over the past couple of months. First, we chatted about how and why we ALL lose our JUNK with our kids sometimes. You know what I mean. Those times when you yell, freak out, and act like a lunatic at them. Please tell me, you have had those moments too. I totally have lost it with my kids, too many times. I share my suggestion to look inward and try and reflect on the why? If I am being honest, I usually lose it because I fail to prepare, communicate, or take necessary steps to avoid the conflict. Both Ashley and I shared a personal story of losing our junk and what we learned afterwards. I always suggest asking your children for forgiveness and own your part in the situation.

After we had some online therapy during the podcast about losing our junk, we discussed some other issues that had been brought up recently. We talked about what to do when you feel completely overwhelmed and how to deal with unrest between the adults in the home. In the end, I think we noticed that we mentioned the words, rest, grace and forgiveness a lot. Pretty sure, it is because we all need those things to survive this parenting thing. Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know.

Just email me at kathy@thehomegrownpreschooler.com or shoot me a message on social media.

 

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

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 how to deal with both kinds Biblically!

“THE ‘GUILTY TRUTH’: New Research Reveals Top Reasons for Parental Guilt”, PR Newswire (by Farm Rich), 9/13/17