Help, We Started Late!

Help_We_Started_LateLet’s face it, there are times in life when we all run a little behind. We arrive to appointments late, we show up tardy for Christmas dinner, and perhaps don’t get the bills in the mail on time. As homeschoolers, the one time we shouldn’t have to worry about running late is during our learning day.

Each of us is on our own schedule. We all have a routine which best meets our family’s needs. Once we have established ourselves it can be all too easy to start feeling like a failure when we vary our day or even our week. We get up a little late and it seems the whole day is out of focus. Life hands us a curve ball and school for the week is a total loss.

Instead of allowing this situation to get the best of us perhaps we need to look at this from a different angle. We are homeschoolers. Unless our state or PSP mandates a particular day-to-day routine, we have the freedom to start our learning any time we like! There is no ‘running late’ to start arithmetic and science. There is no waking up ‘late’. Apart from outside appointments, running late is nonexistent.

To take this a step further, we might even consider these occasional variations in our routines a blessing. Maybe we needed that extra sleep and our bodies are renewed. Maybe we needed those extra minutes to get the science project done. Whenever we experience a slight change in our schedule, this doesn’t mean we are failing or running behind, it means we are adjusting our day to best meet our family’s needs. Sometimes that means more sleep, sometimes that means a longer learning lesson, and sometimes – in my case – we decide our local theme park looks good today.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I like routine. I thrive on routine as a matter of fact. I am the first one to admit ‘running late’ is a frequent worry of mine. There is a time and place for having a schedule; many of us benefit from a daily plan. However, we need to plan our day; not let our plan run our day. Don’t live for the routine.

This month, as most of us head back to our learning routines, I pray we all forget the imaginary clock in our heads; the one that tells us we ‘didn’t start on time’. Instead, let us live each day to the fullest; grateful for each moment we have with our kids.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

Your Turn!: What helps you get back on track when things seem to be running a little longer than you planned for?

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When Learning Isn’t Fun

When_Learning_Isn't_FunWe’re just coming off a three-week break. One which was much-needed by us all. As we prepare to launch into the second half of our current learning adventure, now would be the perfect opportunity to make adjustments and evaluate where we stand, especially areas of study which are proving to be anything but fun.

I think we’ve all been there if we’re honest with ourselves. That one area of study which brings us to tears. If not us, at least it starts our children sniffling. The lessons are boring. The book is too lengthy. We’ve done the same exercises so many times our children could do them in their sleep. We’ve heard them all. Before we throw up our hands in frustration and proclaim this area of learning to be “no fun”, let’s first take a deeper look at our situation.

Pray – Once again, we’re reminded all things should begin with prayer. Before my emotions get out of hand and I start using human reasoning to solve this problem, I want to seek the wisdom of the Lord. He knows exactly what we need.

Understand – Pride can easily be my downfall. Instead, I want to keep open communication with my children and together understand what is not working. This isn’t about the perfect curriculum which was supposed to solve our issues or my immaculate lesson plans the kids don’t appreciate. What’s important is growth and a deeper understanding of their Maker.

Evaluate – What about our lessons isn’t working? Am I pushing too hard, too fast? Are we moving too slow? Perhaps the curriculum isn’t working as well as we’d like, and a few adjustments are needed. We will not be defeated. Instead, this is a chance to make this area of study our own and do it right. We just need to figure out what that looks like.

Adjust – We start with one change, and take a step back to see how that works. Slowly, we slide one adjustment for another until we find a working system. Other times we do a complete overhaul and discover something magical. I never want to be afraid to step out in faith and move where God is working.

Persevere – “If at first you don’t succeed…” is a mantra for a reason. It might take several tries to get it right, and even then we might find ourselves needing to make adjustments again as the children grow, but every moment will be worth it. And that is a lesson in itself.

Not every area of learning is going to be our favorite, and that’s a fact. However, this does not mean these areas of study are not important or valuable in our children’s lives. I want to pray about where we’re struggling and make adjustments where possible. What I don’t want to do is quit. We’re going to try, and keep trying, until we find what works and motivates us to learn.

As we step into this new chapter of learning, I’m excited to see where the Lord is going to lead us. I look forward to watching my children grow and increase in wisdom. Will every area of study work perfectly? Probably not. But it will definitely be an adventure!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
~ Romans 12:12

Your Turn!: What area of learning is your family struggling with this year?

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2017’s Top Posts

2017_Top_Posts

2017 is officially at an end. Before completely kissing off the old year and tipping our hats to the new, let’s take a few moments to look back on all the fun we’ve had during the past twelve months.

Top Posts of 2017

School Lunch, A Reason to Homeschool?
A Hot Topic
I Loved Morning Basket, But We Dropped It Anyway
Dwell on These Things
A Homeschool Open House

It’s been an awesome year getting to know so many of you and learning how the Lord is working through your homeschooling. Thank you for sharing your tips, words of wisdom, and links with us! We love having you join us in the adventure of homeschooling, and can’t wait to see what the coming year will bring.

Your Turn!: We’d love to read your top attractions of 2017! List two of your favorite posts that you’d like to share.

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All I Want for Christmas is… (Part VIII)

All_I_Want_For_Christmas_IsAs far as I’m concerned I don’t need a single present under the tree or even a piece of coal in my stocking. While both are appreciated, my soul is set on a few other goodies. Not necessarily things to be wrapped, but much-needed gifts. Join us during the month of December as we explore several blessings we’d love to receive this Christmas.

…..

Living in America, truth be told, we are a little spoiled. Even when times get hard they are nothing compared to what some of our brothers and sisters experience on a daily basis in many other parts of the world. So it is with no little shyness and humility that I share one of the last items on my Christmas wish list. One of my personal prayers for the coming year is to finally go on vacation.

Before I have CPS breathing down my neck, or a concerned family member texting me, please allow me to elaborate. We do take breaks from learning. When I say I’d like to go on vacation, I mean I would like for my entire family to be able to take a few days break and get away from home to enjoy one another’s company. Not mom spending the day out with the kids while Pop works; not a day trip where we have to rush home so Pop can get to work the next morning. Not even a business trip turned family adventure. A genuine, we might need an airplane, vacation.

Believe it or not, with all the hustle, bustle, and struggle of the last few years, we haven’t been on an honest-to-goodness vacation in over five years. Maybe not even then. It’s about time, don’t you think?

It’s a funny thing. While I’m sure the kids would enjoy a large trip to somewhere like Disneyworld or a cruise to the Bahamas, what excites them most is renting a cabin in the woods and watching it snow. They would also like to know what it’s like to fly in an airplane. It’s not the destination as much as the traveling they want to experience. Most of all, it is undivided attention and family time they’re looking forward to. I’d like to be able to give that to them.

Before the kids all graduate, and we no longer have the opportunity, we’d like to take advantage of the years we have left and make some memories. Together we’ll learn the art of saving for a mutual goal, using our money wisely, planning the adventure, and making the most of these God-given opportunities. I don’t know where the year will take us, but I hope it’s somewhere fun.

“There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.”
~ Deuteronomy 12:7

Your Turn!: If you could take your family anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?

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A Homeschool Mom’s Favorite STEM Books

AHM_STEAM_ReadsFollowing our list of favorite nature books, we thought it would be fun to share the few books we check out on a regular basis which relate to a STEM or STEAM line of study. As we feel our general course of learning does a great job of covering these areas of education fairly well, the list is not terribly long. But, you know us, we’re constantly looking and continually adding.

We know a multitude of books cover this topic. The list you find below is by no means exhaustive. Give is a look and see what we might be missing:

A moment of truth here… I find the acronym STEM, or STEAM, a bit frustrating. After all, doesn’t STEAM cover pretty much everything our children are supposed to be learning? One or two subjects aside. I’m confused over how this term is at all special. I was under the impression we’d been teaching these things all along. I know our general course of curriculum covers science, basic engineering, mathematics, and art. Even technology is discussed and explored over the course of our learning. I would even argue that literature and history are taught using this model as well, as we read about the history each genre. They are in our household. I’m going on the assumption most other homeschoolers are as well. How is STEM different from what we’re already doing? Something to think upon further.

While our normal course of study does a wonderful job of covering STEAM to a good degree, it is fun gathering additional reading materials which bolster these topics for our children. The few books we check out on a regular basis are favorites, and ones we’ll continue to enjoy again and again.

“Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.”
~ Psalm 111:2

Your Turn!: Share your favorite STEM/STEAM books! Which would you recommend we read?

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A Little R & R

Holiday R&R

We’re taking a little holiday break this week and pray you are, too! May the Lord use this time to refresh, renew, and rebuild; both spiritually and physically. Enjoy the holiday, friends. We’ll see you back here next week!

In the meantime, catch us on social media and share in the fun!

🎄Time to Chime In: Is taking a break part of your routine right now?

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