Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beginning Your Homeschool Journey: Deschool and Research

The top question that new homeschoolers ask is, "What books do I buy?"

And the #1 answer I give is: SLOW DOWN AND DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Homeschooling is a new lifestyle and a different kind of education. There are many right ways to do it, and the options are astounding! We truly live in the golden age of homeschool curriculum, compared to when I was raised in an 80's Homeschool! 

So, when you're getting started, it's okay to take the time to DE-SCHOOL. What is that? This post at Living Joyfully has some great explanations (and a bit of info on Unschooling - which is one of the methods we will cover below). 

Now, while you deschool, it's time to research. 

Set aside an evening to read through this great site: Design Your Homeschool. There is LOTS of great advice to get you thinking.

Once you start reading and talking about homeschooling, you'll pick up the lingo. Among the many terms you'll hear and read are the "styles" of homeschooling. Ah, yes! You'll definitely have a style! 

You may not know your style right away, but you just might be interested in a certain one over all the rest. That's a good place to start. But keep in mind that you may not stay there. Your homeschool will evolve with your circumstances and the ages and needs of the children.

So, let me introduce you to the most popular styles:

 This is going to look like what most public and private schools use. It's comfy, and many people start here (and quite a few people stay here!).

Classical homeschooling books
  • The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise & Susan Wise Bauer
  • Teaching the Trivium by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn
  • The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh A. Burtins

Classical Homeschooling Curriculum:
Classical Conversations (local groups) https://www.classicalconversations.com/

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling books:
  • Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
  • Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
  • Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss
  • Meet Charlotte Mason by Sandi Queen
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Websites:

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Curriculum:

Unit Study Homeschool Curriculum:

Literature Based Unit Study Curriculum:

*Computer/Internet Based Style: 

Khan Academy - free online math courses
Easy Peasy - free, complete online curriculum

Unschooling can look different depending on the family doing it, so do some googling to see all the aspects. Basically, unschooling is child-led learning. The parent gives their child the tools to learn and allows them to follow their interests. 

Articles on unschooling:

This describes us. It's a mix of several styles. We used many things and found a great combination of what works in our house.

WHEW! Now that you've got all this information at your fingertips, you might have a better idea of what your homeschool will look like. And you'll know which books you want to order. Prayerfully consider your budget, your children, your schedule. Check out my post Choosing the Curriculum for some more tips.

Also be sure to click on the HOMESCHOOLING tab at the top of my page.

Have fun learning!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

For Such a Time as This: Raising Children in a Perverted World

Our homes are invaded almost daily with the modern culture. Even Christian parents, trying to shelter their children from the wider world, find themselves trying to explain “gay marriage” and “transgender bathrooms.” We are forced to have conversations on topics that we never even thought about as kids.

My husband and I discuss this almost daily. We’d so much rather not discuss why a man wants to dress up as a woman, or why two women want to get married, why we don’t let the little boys go into a men’s restroom alone, why our daughters do not shop alone, and more. But we have to remember that God knew this time was coming, and he gave us these children at this point in history. As Mordecai told his niece Esther when she was given the enormous task of saving the Jews: “You were born for such a time as this.”

So what is a parent to do?

First, PRAY. God did indeed give you these children for this time, and He will guide you. Pray for wisdom from His word, pray for direction, pray specifically for how you can raise your children in this “crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

Second, DISCIPLE. Daily instruction in God’s word is key in raising children in this age. God’s word is very clear on men and women, marriage, sexual perversion, and right and wrong. It’s very clear on the hardening of hearts to the truth, and on fools being led astray. Read it with and to your children daily. Memorize passages. Explain how they relate to our times. It is impossible to courageously engage the culture without a firm foundation.

Third, DISCUSS WORLDVIEW. If our children are to be exposed to the 21st century culture, they must be double-exposed to your Christian worldview. They must put on the whole armor of God. They must be able to see every cultural and political happening in the light of Scripture. They need to understand that there is nothing new under the sun. Discuss current events with them. Play devil’s advocate, and ask them to defend the scriptures.

None of what we see today surprises God. Remember: He destroyed the earth with a flood when wickedness was rampant in the earth. Sodom and Gomorrah were deep in sexual perversion when He destroyed them with fire. We may feel shocked and defeated when these behaviors permeate our culture, but God has seen it all repeatedly since the creation of man. 

God has given you a task: to raise godly children in a godless world. Instead of living in fear of what the culture can do to them, we can embrace this calling and prepare our children for the battle.

Our children can be encouraged to keep their focus on God’s purpose for them. What does God require of us?

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22: 36-40

 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee? but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8  

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  James 1:27

We are not commanded to approve of sin, but we are commanded to love our neighbor, do justly, love mercy, walk humbly, care for widows and orphans, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world.

My friend Bambi (In the Nursery of the Nation) wrote a great post last year after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage at Revive Our Hearts. It's what first encouraged me that our children were born for this time. I think you'll find it very encouraging.

History is full of exciting tales of heroes. But if you look closely, almost every historic hero was someone who swam against the tide, who stood for what was right, and proclaimed unpopular truths.
Remind your children of this when you study history together. The right path is always the narrow one. But when we teach our children about culture through the lens of Scripture, they know that they serve a big God who is eternal, and not a temporary popular culture.

Stay strong, parents. You may be raising a Daniel!

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I Choose Joy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Planned Parenthood

Declaring #NeverTrump is akin to voluntarily standing in front of a firing squad. I know I'm in for it. It's not going to win me any new friends, and will definitely  have me "un"-friended by some. And I will singlehandedly be blamed if Hillary Clinton wins this fall.

So, I better get straight to the point: I have many reasons for not liking Trump, but not actually voting for him comes down to one, single issue.

Planned Parenthood and the wholesale slaughter, dismemberment, and sale of babies. It is our modern version of child sacrifice. And any Christian that turns a blind eye to this practice in the name of "winning an election" or "building a wall" is voting for evil, no matter the level of evil.

Trump dismissed the notion he is not a true conservative because he supports Planned Parenthood, insisting he is “just doing what’s right.”
“Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for many, many — for millions of women,” Trump said in a news conference Tuesday night.

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil..." Isaiah 5:20

"It does do wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion," Trump said in that debate. "There are wonderful things having to do with women's health, but not when it comes to abortion."

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:8
Trump conceded it was "not a perfect conservative view," but offered a counterweight by promising to be "more conservative than anybody on the military, on taking care of our vets, on the border, on the wall."

Trump himself admits that he's willing to trade the pro-life position for that WALL. And Republican, even Christian conservative, voters everywhere are perfectly fine with that.

Last Summer, the Center For Medical Progress released 11 videos that should have been a gift to the Pro-Life movement. They should have been the death knell of Planned Parenthood. Conservatives, Christians, Republicans --- they should have all been beating down the doors of every Republican politician until Planned Parenthood was defunded and shut down.

The Pro-Life movement is a major platform of the Republican Party. But Summer 2015 is just a distant memory, and these videos made very little difference. Elected Republicans made sorry excuses about budgets and other nonsense while refusing to treat PP as the temple to human sacrifice that they are.

We are lately used to our elected officials ignoring our calls for justice. But when an election can change that, we should be voting our convictions. We are no different than the Christians who allowed Roe V. Wade to happen in 1973. I used to wonder how that happened right under the noses of Christians. Well, I've witnessed it in my own generation. Now I know.

Everywhere you see #NeverTrump you also see well-meaning advisors proclaiming that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary. I will counter that by saying that a vote for Trump is a vote for Planned Parenthood and the continuation of the slaughter of innocent babies.

I used to be in the "lesser of two evils" camp. I would never have voted third party because it always hurts the Republican Party. But abortion is evil, and there is no lesser version of it. I will not cast a vote for any politician -- Republican, Democrat, Libertarian -- who does not call evil what it is.

And if Hillary wins, it won't be because I didn't vote for Trump. Trump has been nominated by Republicans and Christians and "evangelicals" who compromised their beliefs because they were "angry" and "fed up" and because he promised to build them a wall.

I would say God Bless America, but I don't have much hope in that anymore.

Note: In case you missed it, here are the 11 videos that prove that Planned Parenthood is truly evil.

Video 1: Planned Parenthood Orange County Changes Abortions to Harvest Intact Fetuses for Local Company’s “Fetal Products” Sales

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 2: Planned Parenthood ally National Abortion Federation Suggests “Group Purchasing Program” for Fetal Parts, Payments “A Win-Win” for Clinics 

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 3: Planned Parenthood Houston Admits Accounting Gimmicks Hide Baby Parts Sales, Invoices Charge Thousands of Dollars

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 4Planned Parenthood TX Abortion Apprentice Taught Partial-Birth Abortions to “Strive For” Intact Baby Brains

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 5: Top Planned Parenthood Exec Agrees Baby Parts Sales “A Valid Exchange,” Some Clinics “Generate a Fair Amount of Income Doing This”

(Full uncut videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5)

Video 6: Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Vendor Advanced Bioscience Resources Pays Off Clinics, Intact Fetuses “Just Fell Out”

(Full, uncut videos here and here)

Video 7: Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Buyer StemExpress Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week,” Financial Benefits for Abortion Clinics

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 8: Intact Fetuses “Just a Matter of Line Items” for Planned Parenthood TX Mega-Center

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 9: Planned Parenthood VP Says Fetuses May Come Out Intact, Agrees Payments Specific to the Specimen

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 10: Second Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods

(Full, uncut video here)

Video 11: Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts

(Full, uncut video here)

#NeverTrump #NeverHillary #NeverEvil

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I'm an Introvert So You Should Coddle Me

I happen to be one of those introverts you read about online. You know the articles with all the complicated descriptions of our personality quirks and instructions for special handling?

It’s become trendy to embrace the negative traits of the introverted personality types, and to beg the world to create safe spaces for us.

Oh, the traits are real enough. I should know. I crave quiet. I dread small talk. I avoid phone calls and prefer text messages. I don’t enjoy large parties. I do prefer small groups with deep conversation. I'd rather not leave my house. I get physically drained by too much socializing.  (Maybe it’s because I was homeschooled? Haha!)


But my life and my actions should not be determined by pop psychology. As a Christian, my actions (and my thoughts) are guided by God’s word. (Do you notice in that last paragraph how many "I's" there are?)

At least 10 times in Scripture we are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..."– Galations 5:22-23
“Love suffers long, and is kind…” 1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is not selfish, or busy, or “pretending to be busy.” Love does not require “me time” or “safe spaces.” Love allows us to be in uncomfortable situations because we do not focus on our own feelings or desires, but instead, lean on God’s grace.
Loving others means that we die to ourselves. We ignore the sinful nature that drives our impulses and we walk in the Fruit of the Spirit.
I know that God created me (and all the other introverts) as we are, and can use our traits for His purpose. It’s the same with those crazy extroverts! God gave them the opposite traits and uses them in different ways. I mean, some of the sweetest, friendliest people I know are the extroverts who love to hug, talk, laugh, and have fun with everyone they know. That’s a true gift!

So, while I am definitely an introvert and still prefer quiet introspection, I know that God regularly asks me to step out of my comfort zone and gives me the strength and grace and kindness to do so. And I know that eventually, I’ll have that quiet rest that I desire. 

Shared at:
I Choose Joy!