Conquering the Wandering Mind

Conquering_Wandering_MindsI’ve called his name four times now, hands waving before his book work. The boy is smart. He could complete this lesson in two minutes flat – if only I could divert his attention to his work. He comes back to the present only for a moment before returning to his imaginings. With each ticking of the clock, I wonder what I’m doing wrong and how I can help my child conquer this challenge.

Understandably, this situation is just as frustrating for our son as it is for me. Being the last one to finish lessons, and constantly having to hear your name is irritating. We’re doing our best to work through this struggle together and learn keys to succeed in this area. Diet, exercise, routine, and using essential oils is helping. How we homeschool has been reviewed as well. Less independent work is in order; being replaced with one-on-one lessons with a parent sitting close at hand verbally offering encouragement.

Do any of your children battle this on a daily basis? We’d love to hear your thoughts regarding this area of homeschooling!

  • Are there clear symptoms of when your child’s mind has gone wandering?
  • What helps you remain calm and help meet your child’s need when this becomes a daily/hourly concern?
  • Have you identified the cause of their distraction? How have you done this?
  • Do foods affect your child’s focus?
  • Will routine and/or exercise help focus increase?
  • Do you find this more prevalent in your sons than daughters?
  • What helps your child to better focus?
  • Are there essential oils you’re using to help your child focus?

We have by no means conquered this challenge. There are days we cruise through without any difficulty, and days when keeping eyes on the page leads to anger. Through God’s grace we’re moving forward, learning what works for his body and mind. Amidst the frustration, it helps to remember this not personal or purposeful. Our son is not being rebellious, his mind is merely occupied elsewhere. Together we’re discovering fun, meaningful ways to redirect his attention to the present and offering grace when a momentary whim takes his mind on a journey elsewhere.

There is beauty to be found in these moments, even those taken in the imagination. May we have patience to find it, wisdom to see learning opportunity everywhere, and gentleness in leading our children through daily responsibility.

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,…”
~ Ephesians 1:17-18

Your Turn!: That’s quite a list of questions we’ve asked… Don’t feel as if you need to answer every one. Pick one which resonates with you, or one in which you’ve seen growth, and share with us!

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The Priority of Family Connection

The Priority of Family ConnectionToday we’re rushing around doing errands. Tomorrow there is a planned group field trip. Saturday my daughter has a library event. Monday my little lady has a sewing class. Wednesday is… You get the idea. We have so many wonderful opportunities before us. Before we get lost in all the busy-ness, let’s place priority on family time.

Life can certainly be busy. Staying connected as a family can be a challenge. In order to stay on top of it all, we need to have a game plan. Before a plan can come together, we need to first look at our objective. Is our goal uninterrupted home time? Perhaps we simply wish to have meaningful conversations on a more regular basis.

Once we have our overall goal in mind, we start looking at when we can make this happen. Family time doesn’t have to be at the end of each day. It might mean starting the morning off with family breakfast, or enjoying lunch together. If this isn’t an option, let’s look at travel time. While in the car – on the various, multitude of events we attend – could we be turning off radios and devices; using this time to build relationships? There is time available, if we only look for it.

Given that we homeschool, we could assume our learning time is plenty of opportunity for family. We have discovered that while we have enjoyed our adventures, this is not the same as family time. We all need a space of time when I am not giving instruction or introducing new topics, and the kids are not being drilled on arithmetic facts. This is especially true when Pop is not an active part of our learning routine. The goal of connecting is for everyone to be present and participating.

While some might argue against planning dates/family time. (How much fun is something you have to mark down on a calendar?) We would caution against such thinking. After all, planning a day at Disneyland never fails to bring joy and anticipation. Why should this be any different?

As a final thought, instead of taking this upon our own shoulders, we should consider making this a family affair. We might host a family meeting, expressing concern over a lack of quality time. Allow everyone to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas on how to solve the problem. After taking into consideration everyone’s contribution, together come up with a plan. Then, stick with it.

If we’re not careful, we can schedule ourselves into a complete breakdown. While attending events, field trips, and games is of benefit, we also need to teach our children the value of quiet, family time. If we don’t, let us not be surprised when our adult children are too busy to make time for us later in life.

We all have busy days. We might even have crazy weeks. But when days and weeks turn into months, it’s probably time to call a family meeting and reconnect. Let’s start with prayer, and see where the Lord leads! Many blessings on finding time for what’s truly important, family.

“So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
~ Ephesians 5:15-17

Your Turn!: What are your family’s favorite ways to reconnect after a busy stretch in schedule?

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Review: Captain Absolutely from Focus On The Family

Review_Captain_AbsolutelyComics are all the rage in our home. From my husband’s work to classic Superman, we enjoy a good graphic novel. So it was with much anticipation we reviewed Captain Absolutely from Focus On The Family. Today, we’re excited to share this fun, educational, Biblical resource with you!

Captain Absolutely is a graphic novel which focuses on using a Biblical worldview to battle everyday challenges such as fear and guilt. In Captain Absolutely we meet our hero, Captain Absolutely, and learn how he gained his incredible power. We are taken through a series of subsequent events in which Captain Absolutely meets several villains – Dr. Relative, Cap’n Crastin, Fear Chemist, and more – who wish to ruin the town of Metropolitanville and take over the world. Captain Absolutely uses his knowledge of Scripture to fight each enemy, while kindly showing them the error of their ways.

Captain Absolutely is a full-color paperback graphic novel. The pages within are printed on glossy paper, in tune with traditional modern comics. The illustrations themselves are fun. The story is fast-paced and silly while faithfully teaching Biblical truths, complete with Scripture reference for each argument the Captain uses to defeat his foe.

As Captain Absolutely touches on important Biblical topics and discusses the gravity of truth, we handed our story to an expert both in the field of comics and apologetics… my husband. In addition, both our oldest daughter, our son, and myself read through the story.  This was not a required read for the kids, merely something we strategically placed in anReading_Captain_Absolutely advantageous position of the learning environment to encourage interest. The reading took approximately forty-five minutes for my son and husband to read through together; about twenty for me and my daughter individually.

We found Captain Absolutely functions under the assumption the Bible is true. We are presented with basic worldviews and how a Biblical worldview responds to each argument. This is not a philosophical defense of truth, but a sharing of Biblical wisdom. With that said, all of us enjoyed this graphic novel. My husband found it to be a good foundation for younger children learning Biblical truths. He recommended the story for children aged 8-12, but noted finishing the entire novel in one read might be a bit taxing. To fully absorb the concepts being presented and prevent fatigue, perhaps reading Captain Absolutely over a few days time might be of benefit. My daughter and I thought the stories to be quite silly, with many good points made for the reader to think on. Our son laughed continually through the reading; the storyline made for many good talking points and further truths to be shared. He thought the silliest “villains” were Edward Snooze – who fought Captain Absolutely with pillows – and Cap’n Crastin – who’s heartfelt desire was to be on television.

When passing comics to our children, we parents are continually on the lookout for appropriate content. Captain Absolutely met all of our requirements: It was clean, engaging to the mind, easy to follow, and as an added bonus, pointed our children to Christ. Our son learned a great deal through his reading, and this initial story has laid beautiful groundwork for future discussion of truth and Biblical wisdom.

If you’d like to learn more about Focus On The Family, as well as Captain Absolutely, please visit them at their website. You can also find Focus on The Family on social media sites such as FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube.

To read additional helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into High School Essay Intensive please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

Review Crew Disclaimer

Your Turn!: Is there a Christian comic you’d recommend?

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3 Reasons My Children Aren’t Listening

3 Reasons My Children Aren't ListeningDo you ever get the feeling you sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? All your children hear is, “Wa-wa, wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.” Over the years I’ve discovered this to be true in my own home. When this happens, I know three things have occurred.

In order for my children to obey, fulfilling the responsibilities given to them, I must first ensure they have heard my command. It helps to have my children not only look at me when giving them instructions, but for them to confirm they have heard the request. A simple “Yes, mom” will usually suffice. This ensures they have heard the command and have no one but themselves to blame when consequences arise from lack of obedience. In my instructions I am very clear to state what I expect of them, how much time they have to accomplish said task, and the consequences for their lack of obedience.

The second key is putting in place solid consequences for lack of obedience. When our children understand we are serious about them obeying, they will be more likely to listen and act. I discuss appropriate measures with my husband, and determine which consequences we are willing to put into place. Then, start using them.

Lastly, be consistent. Our children will not take us seriously if we do not follow through on our word. If we say they will not get dessert if they don’t clean their room, they need to not get dessert. It doesn’t matter if they whine, moan, or pout. Giving in, especially to whining, only ensures our children will not obey us in the future. Instead, they’ve learned they can get away with lack of obedience by worming their way out by nagging us. Once a consequence has been chosen, we stick with it. Every time. All the time.

It may take the children a few tries before they finally catch on to the new routine, but the sooner we start the better. When we are clear about what we expect, when disobedience is followed up by consequences, and we are consistent in our word, our children will have greater respect for our authority.

Bye-bye Charlie Brown’s teacher!

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
~ Matthew 11:15

Your Turn!: How often do your children claim not to hear when you speak?

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Is Home Schooling the ONLY Answer?

Is Home Schooling the ONLY Answer?Sometimes, well-meaning homeschoolers feel the need to convince other people that keeping their children at home is a must. We feel the need to cajole them into believing homeschooling is the only answer, and if they don’t homeschool something is wrong with them. While, quite obviously, we prefer to homeschool and find it is best for our family, I am very hesitant about what I share and how it is expressed. I would prefer the Lord be the one working on their hearts, not me.

Over the course of several years, there are some key things I have learned about sharing my heart with other people. Things I feel help to develop relationships and open the doors to good communication.

Earn respect. How often have we heard well-meaning advice from a complete stranger? Worse yet, someone whom you don’t respect. Before I open my mouth to speak, I ought to ask myself how well I know this person. Perhaps they are not open to receiving what I might want to communicate. I need to earn the right to be heard, not demand I be listened to.

Learn to listen. How often have we spoken to someone, only to discover we didn’t really hear all they said? Or while they were speaking, we were already trying to form our own arguments and thoughts in response? The first step in a good conversation, is listening! Taking time not to just hear the words they are speaking, but the heart of the person talking. Sometimes it is not just the statement being made, but the emotions behind them which need to be addressed.

Be humble. How much I accomplish and the efficiency in which it is done is not to my own credit. It is the Lord who has given me my gifts and it is He who continues to sustain me. They don’t need to hear about all I have accomplished; they need to see how the Lord has directed our lives and used certain circumstances to bring us to where we are. This takes the glory out of my hands and puts it where it belongs.

Be slow to judge others. Imagine how hard it would be to bare your heart to another, only to have them turn and tear you apart. In the realm of parenting, there are many methods of schooling, training, and building of relationships. I need to understand my way isn’t the only way and all of us are still learning. My responsibility is to edify, encourage, and help; not to bury them under a mound of guilt.

Let the Lord lead. It is not my job to convince someone of my argument or my way of thought. If someone is genuinely interested in what I have to say they will listen and take my thoughts into consideration. If the Lord leads, speak; and let Him do the rest.

Know when to keep quiet. There is a time to speak and there is time to remain silent. It is important to know what the situation calls for. It is okay to offer advice and express my views, but there comes a time when words are of no use. Know how to pick battles and when to walk away.

When I am offering advice or answering questions about homeschooling, I want to make sure I am not overstepping my bounds. If I have earned the right to be heard, I then need to make sure I am listening to their concerns. When I respond, my answers should be given gently and with humility. Once I have said my piece, I need to let the Lord lead them and remain quiet.

We love homeschooling, and enjoy sharing our adventure with others. Heaven forbid our calling become a burden we force upon others, or a prideful arrogance we throw in someone’s face. Instead, may we live in such a way as to bring others into the beauty of God’s presence, blessing everyone we meet.

Your Turn!: What are a few indicators which help you know when sharing about your homeschooling adventure is beneficial?

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Review: High School Essay Intensive from Institute for Excellence in Writing

High_School-Essay_IntensiveOur oldest daughter will be a junior this coming month! With scholarships, grants, college SAT’s and ACT’s right around the corner, we can’t think of a better time to review High School Essay Intensive from Institute for Excellence in Writing. Read on as we share this new resource to hit A Homeschool Mom’s shelf!

High School Essay Intensive is a writing program, including a case containing five DVD’s which comprise the course and a Portable Walls for the Essayist folder. Printed on the folder are helpful tips for becoming a better writer: Types of Essays, Transitional Words & Phrases, Essay Models, and more. Included in the Portable Walls for the Essayist folder is the High School Essay Intensive course work. This course work is to be completed as the student watches the DVD’s and Mr. Pudewa teaches lessons. Topics covered in High School Essay Intensive are “General Strategies for Essay Writing”, “Understanding and Preparing for the New ACT Essay”, “Understanding and Preparing for the Redesigned SAT Essay”, and “Strategies for the ‘Personal Essay'”. In addition to the DVD’s, we also received a code to video stream these same lessons. This is an especially helpful resource for students using computers which no longer have disc drives or prefer this medium.

While there are many ways in which High School Essay Intensive could be completed, we chose to do a “crash course” and finish the entire set in a two-week period of time. Normally I would not recommend this course of action, but I was a little impatient to finishMr. Pudewa Teaching the material. The main reason for our hurry was an IEW conference being held by our homeschool group. What better way to fully immerse ourselves than to have completed the curriculum and then attend the conference as a review? Our second reason for the rush was a desire to fully train our oldest daughter for the college and scholarship essays she is currently filling out by the stack.

Having no prior experience with IEW, we went into our review with open minds. Our focus during our review was on “General Strategies for Essay Writing” and “Strategies for the ‘Personal Essay'”, as these have the greatest application for our family at this point in time. We found the DVD/Stream lessons to be easy to follow and entertaining. Mr. Pudewa has a comfortable manner in his teaching, addressing his filmed audience by name and offering funny anecdotes to keep the viewer interested. Course work allowed students to take careful notes while following along with lessons, using a fill-in-the-blank method of note taking. While the title of the course, High School Essay Intensive, and the nature of the topic might seem heavy, we were pleased to find the lessons manageable and even fun. There were several new skills we learned; ones we will be implementing from this point forward. We especially appreciated Mr. Pudewa’s explanation of introductory sentences and a TRIAC method of writing paragraphs.

As we have written essays during our lessons for years, and are new to Institute for Excellence in Writing, I was extremely interested in reviewing High School Essay Intensive. I was pleased to find we are on the right track with our writing, yet we’ve learned new skills we can apply to future papers! While we chose to move quickly through the curriculum, we will be re-visiting it at a slower pace at various points to keep the information fresh in our minds.

If you’d like to learn more about Institute for Excellence in Writing, along with High School Essay Intensive, please visit them at their website. You can also find Institute for Excellence in Writing on social media sites such as FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

To read additional helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into High School Essay Intensive please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

Review Crew Disclaimer

Your Turn!: Do your children stress when an essay is assigned?

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The Truth About Self-Worth

Truth_About_Self-WorthIn the public school system, and in America today, we see a strong pull towards helping our children build self-confidence. Our children are great; our children are smart, our children are going places. It doesn’t matter that a good portion of our children are failing in school, can’t even read when they graduate, and couldn’t fill out a job application if their lives depended on it; we need to ensure they are confident in themselves and believe they can do anything.

The irony is, most of our kids aren’t self-confident. Because we’ve failed to teach them their true value, our children are filled with self-doubt and poor self-image. Perhaps if we spent less time teaching them their worth is wrapped up in themselves and more time teaching them truth, self-confidence would no longer be an issue.

The Truth
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:10

The truth is, not one of us is good. We aren’t. We lie, cheat, steal, think bad thoughts, and often act upon them. We think of ourselves first, others second, and then think of God. We can try to cover it up with a pretty surface and a faked veneer, but underneath we are all sinners.

How is this encouraging? When our children understand there aren’t ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people – we’re all sinners – they begin to see their value isn’t in what they do, say, or the status they hold; their value must lie in something outside of themselves.

The Truth
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

The truth is God loved us so much, it didn’t matter that we had already messed up and gone astray. He loved us so much He gave His perfect Son, who had done no wrong, to pay for our sin. He LOVED us. We are loved by the Creator of the universe, the creator of all things. He loved us then and loves us still. He loved us when we were yet sinners and He loves us even as He is still perfecting us.

The Truth
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

The truth is our value isn’t in what we do, but in Who created us. We are God’s workmanship. We were created. Why is this point important? We aren’t cosmic blips, accidents, evolutionary mishaps, or thoughtless beings. We were purposefully created! We were created for a reason and God has already gone before us to prepare our paths; we have only to accept this and move forward.

The Truth
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…”
I John 3:1

The truth is our value is not in what we do, but in Who we belong to; Who our Father is. Our value is in being a daughter/son of the King. Not an ordinary earthly king, but the King of kings; the King above all else. We are valuable because we belong to the God of the universe and He loves us.

The Truth
“…O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …”
Psalm 139:1-24

The truth is we are never out of God’s sight or mind. He knows everything about us, everything there ever is to know. We are so important to Him, the God of all, that He knows every last detail about our lives, from the number of hairs on our head to the dreams we only see in our heads.

The Truth
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

The truth is we have purpose. We weren’t put here to simply live for ourselves, to wander around aimlessly. We have a purpose, you have a purpose. The Lord has a plan for your life, He offers goodness and peace; a future and something to hope for.

We all want our children to understand their value, their true self-worth. But, we want them to focus on the truth. The truth is we aren’t good or wonderful, on our own. The truth is our value lies in Christ and who He is. When we help our children refocus their thinking, removing their eyes off themselves and putting them on Christ, they will see a true reflection of what they are worth. They were created by a loving God who sent His Son to die for them, calls them His own, loves them so much He knows everything about them, and has a plan for their lives.

When we start to see ourselves through the eyes of Christ, we see a true reflection of what we are: priceless.

Your Turn!: Share with us your favorite Bible verse which helps remind you of these simple truths!

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Review: The Secret Bridge by Lamplighter Publishing

The_Secret_BridgeEvery once in a while, we come across a read which sparks the imagination and edifies the soul. This week, we’re happy to share with you a new read we had the pleasure of reviewing. The Secret Bridge by Lamplighter Publishing was a joy from beginning to end, and we know you’ll want to hear all about it!

Lamplighter Publishing’s aim is to develop Christlike character one story at a time, and this book hits the mark! The Secret Bridge tells the story of young Bridget Channing, and her journey toward a meaningful relationship with God. Through trials, tribulations, and a helpful friend, Bridget learns what it means to cast her cares upon the Lord and fall in love with her Creator.

We first meet Bridget on a sea voyage to England, following the death of her father. While aboard, she befriends Godfrey Bullingham, a naval officer who desires to see Bridget settled well. When disappointing circumstances leave Bridget homeless and with little to live on, Godfrey saves the day by proposing marriage. At first hesitant to accept, Bridget quickly realizes marriage might be her only option and accepts the offer. After a hasty ceremony, Bridget is taken to Godfrey’s hometown where she will be staying for the year while he is away at sea. Everything seems to be working in Bridget’s favor until her husband asks her to keep a secret. A big secret. Throughout the remainder of the book, we experience Bridget’s struggle to keep the secret hidden while more and more secrets become known to her. In the midst of her trials, Bridget meets a most unusual gentleman who encourages her to “Acquaint thyself with Him.”Secret_Bridge_TitlePg

The Secret Bridge was cleanly written, which is a requirement when choosing our books. Thus, any of our children could have read the story. However, I had a personal desire to read the book myself and took possession first. I had planned to read the book slowly, perhaps taking a few chapters at a time. I quickly realized this was not possible. The Secret Bridge was too good to put down. I finished the entire book in one night!

I will note, this story might be best suited for young ladies. There is no action in the book and a great deal of conversation whilst drinking tea. We should also point out that while the main purpose of the story is to encourage a closer relationship with Christ, there is a distinct romantic element to the story; particularly at the beginning of the book. I would recommend The Secret Bridge to young ladies in middle school or older, as the topic of marriage and proper courtship would be more appropriate for that age category.

As I devoured the story, there were a few points which caught my attention in particular. Mr. Jocelyn, the gentleman who speaks with Bridget, is a naturalist! While the study of God’s creation plays no significant role in the story, I appreciated reading of his love of nature and his desire to teach children through his hobby. It was also interesting to note the back story of the tale, which centers on a family dispute as far back as the time of Secret_Bridge_IllustrationHenry VIII. As we are currently studying this era in our history lessons, this was a fun circumstance and a God moment. While not important in any way to the story, it would be remiss if we failed to mention the gorgeous cover of this book. Mole skinned, engraved leather, and gold embossed. It’s a beautiful book.

The Secret Bridge was a joy to read! I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about the book. The story itself was lovely to read, well-told, and edifying. The character lessons throughout were encouraging, even for one who has walked with the Lord for years. We look forward to exploring more exciting reads at Lamplighter Publishing!

If you’d like to learn more about Lamplighter Publishing, along with The Secret Bridge, please visit them at their website. You can also find Lamplighter Publishing on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

To read additional helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into The Secret Bridge, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

Review Crew Disclaimer

Your Turn!: In The Secret Bridge, Bridget has a developed a hobby of wood carving. Which hobby/handy-craft would you most like to acquire?

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Dragons Love Tacos 2!

Oh no, the world has run out of tacos! What should we do?

A. Check emergency taco supplies
B. Eat emergency taco supplies
C. Panic
D. Fire up that time machine in the garage
E. All of the above

We’ve got to save the tacos! The dragons are here to help. Just keep them away from all that spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time.

Dragons Love Tacos_2_TourInspired by the release of Dragons Love Tacos 2, we asked ourselves this important question: Could we help save the tacos by going back in time to the Renaissance? Did they even have tacos during the Renaissance? What better way to discover tacos during but to visit a Renaissance Faire! My dragons and I piled into our time machine, lovingly called a car, and blasted into the past.

The journey was surprisingly shorter than anticipated, and met with much anticipation. We arrived to discover things looked quite different from what we were used to. We felt a little under-dressed as we were presented at court, but the queen kindly disregarded Dragon w/ Fanour attire and graciously allowed us to peruse her kingdom in pursuit of our goal… tacos!

We got excited when we saw this beautiful creation. It was shaped like a taco, but alas, was not. It’s called a Spanish fan; which was quite pretty, but not fit for eating. It seems you can use them for creating a soft breeze to cool your dragon scales.

Dragon TeaWe did find dragon tea, but tea is not tacos! Our new friends allowed us to take in the lovely aroma, but there is no substitution for our favorite crunchy snack.

Everywhere we went, we asked for help. It seemed no one even knew what a taco was! Much to our surprise, even ingredients for tacos were not to be found. Lettuce, it would appear, is hard to Dragon w/Mancome by. And tomatoes… these people from the Renaissance would not sell us a tomato. There seems to be a rumor about them being poisonous? Imagine that.

After a quick return to court, thanking the queen for her kindness and generosity, we were forced to admit defeat. It seems the Renaissance does not have tacos! Wait… what’s that you say? We’re on the wrong continent! Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?!

A History Lesson: If you and your dragons wish to learn more about tacos and their illustrious history, The Smithsonian has a fantastic article which might come in handy! Who knew this tasty treat has been around since before the 1800’s and was a favored snack amongst minors (the silver kind, not the little ones who mess up our houses).

Don’t Skip the Giveaway!: Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of Dragons Love Tacos and Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARV: $17.99 each), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARC: $17.99 each).

Dragons Love Tacos 2

Click the above image to enter our giveaway!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Tour Schedule: If you and your dragons would like to explore more adventures centered around this fantastic book, check out this incredible list of bloggers showcasing Dragons Love Tacos 2!

Week One:
May 1 – In Wonderland – Jane Austen Taco Hunt
May 2 – The Children’s Book Review – Review
May 3 – A Homeschool Mom – Tacos in the Renaissance
May 4 – Inspiration Laboratories – Tacos in Space
May 5 – Ali’s Book Nook – Dragon Paper Doll Activity
Week Two:
May 8 – The Book Nut – Tacos in Ancient Greece
May 9 – A Story A Day – Tacos During the Civil War
May 10 – Pirates n’ Pixie Dust – Taco Pirates
May 11 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
May 12 – My Little Poppies
Week Three:
May 16 – As They Grow Up
May 17 – YA Book Nerd
May 18 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Mini Swoon
May 19 – The Plot Bunny – A Dragons Love Tacos Playlist
Week Four:
May 22 – Reading is Better with Cupcakes – How to Properly Eat a Taco
May 23 – No BS Book Reviews
May 24 – Mundie Kids –Time Travelling with a Dragon Checklist
May 25 – The Book Shire
May 26 – Artsy Momma

FTC Disclaimer

Your Turn!: If you could go back in history, which time period would you most like to explore?

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My Kids Are Mad at Me

My Kids Are Mad at MeI like being liked, doesn’t everyone? The people I want to like me most are my family. So when my kids are having an off day and decide I’m a convenient target, an entire slew of emotions come into play. How did we get here, and why are my kids mad at me?

Just like us, kids have hard days. It can be all too easy to take on personal guilt when these feelings in them bother us. There is a series of emotions and steps my mind seems to run through every time this happens. Perhaps some of these resonate with you, too?

Getting Over the Hurt – My heart is immediately saddened. The kids are mad because I’m parenting them? My mind can’t seem to compute how they could be upset when I want them to brush their teeth, make their beds, study their schoolwork… The hurt turns to a moment of guilt, wondering if I’m asking too much or doing something wrong.

Seeing Past the Red – Then the hurt turns to anger. I know I’m doing my job and they are making it hard; very hard. My pride kicks in, hating the disrespect being shown and the sharp replies I am receiving when I’m doing my best to remain calm and collected.

Learning to Pray – It’s in the midst of the anger, however, I am filled with the overwhelming need to pray. I don’t want to speak out in anger – while it might be righteous indignation, my reaction affects everything – hurting my children and doing further damage. I’m learning to ask the Lord to speak to their hearts, softening them to His will and obedience. I seek His will in my response and calmness for my heart.

Extending Understanding – While my children shouldn’t have acted out, and consequences will need to be given, the Lord is helping me see through my children’s eyes. Perhaps they have had a busy morning and feel overwhelmed. Maybe they were already frustrated and I’ve unintentionally poked at them. Their actions are not justified, but it’s good to know why this happened so we can move forward and work on removing this barrier in the future.

Holding Firm – Once my children have calmed down, they inevitably feel sorry for their actions. It might take a while, but it always comes around. It would be all too easy to write off their consequences and call it a day; everything is good now. That would be a mistake on my part. While I appreciate their repentance, my children also need to learn justice. It hurts to follow through, but it is necessary and important.

Tying Strings – We could leave it at repentance – it’s not a bad place to stop – but I want more. I need to rebuild the relationship which might be torn or bruised. A hug might be the answer, working together on a project, reading a story, watching a movie, talking during a walk, and more. At times this is harder than others, but worth the effort.

More than being liked, I want to be righteous. This means I need to set a good example for my children in moments of hurt and anger. It also means I need to stand firm in building their character.

When my children are mad, I need to remove myself from the picture, take a step back, evaluate what is going on beneath the surface, and ask the Lord for wisdom. This is not a personal affront, but a personal attack upon my child. The question is will I help or cause more hurt?

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
~ Psalm 103:13

Your Turn!: What is your favorite way to “tie strings” with your children?

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