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Encouragement For Homeschoolers

This week The 4 Moms are sharing the scriptures, stories, and resources that give us encouragement as a homeschool family.

If you have never attended a homeschool conference where you get to listen to encouraging speakers, you are really missing out on a big booster shot in the arm. The Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit I just attended and spoke at was absolutely the best homeschool encouragement I have had in a very long time, if not EVER!

When we first considered homeschooling, some of the scriptures that were convicting to us were:

Deuteronomy 6:4-6  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Ephesians6:4 Fathers,do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Now that we are in the trenches of this great project that we are determined to see through, a scripture that encourages us is:

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

As for encouraging homeschool resources, the internet is abounding with websites that are designed to encourage and support homeschool moms! Of course, the best and brightest are my 4 Moms compadres:

And then there are a these awesome sites:

What scriptures, stories, or resources do you find encouraging in your homeschool journey?

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The 4 Moms Keep Our Patience in the Midst of Chaos

Chaos? Oh, I’ve got your chaos alright! (I dare you to try to make it through that 4 minute video without shaking your head and mumbling something about your nerves.)

Maybe I should title this “3 Moms Keep Their Patience” because this here mom has the kind of patience that comes and goes. Waxes and wanes. It’s not so much that I keep my patience as it is that I entertain it. It stays for a while and then excuses itself until I see it again some time later.

I strive to be patient because I know that “Love is patient.” I love my children dearly, but I confess that I am not always patient with them the way I intend to be.

And I really do intend it. I wake up each morning and set my sites on patience. I tell myself that there will be moments of chaos, and I will be patient through those. The trouble is that I don’t always do what I set out to do.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7: 19-20

When this happens, I must take a deep breath and repent. I ask God to forgive me and give me strength and endurance to manage a large household with love and patience. Then I apologize to my children and I try again.

I am only able to really be patient when I remember my one long term goal: To glorify God.

If my goal is to glorify God, then being late for church is not worth getting upset about. Kids losing shoes, spilling milk, forgetting they are potty trained, squabbling, whining, or all manner of annoying behavior can not get in the way of my number one goal of glorifying God.

I can use each of those scenarios as an opportunity to show loving kindness and patience to my children, and in the process bring glory to God.

These things are so easy to write, but oh so difficult to master, mostly because Satan is a jerk and wants me to get caught up in the chaos and forget about my goal.

If I keep my eyes on eternity, I remember that my goal, to glorify God, is more important than an entire gallon of spilled milk.

Now, run over to the rest of The 4 Moms with me and let’s find out how they keep their patience in the midst of chaos:

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4 Moms Discuss Managing the Week ~ Large Family Logistics

The 4 Moms are discussing chapters 18-27 in Kim Brenneman’s “Large Family Logistics” this week.

This begins “Part Two” of the book and starts with a chapter on “Your Home Management Binder” in which Kim gives step by step instructions on how to set up a 3-ring binder so you can order your week.

She recommends assigning a day to each important task:

  • Monday – Laundry day
  • Tuesday- Kitchen day
  • Wednesday – Office day
  • Thursday – Town day
  • Friday – Cleaning day
  • Saturday – Gardening day
  • Sunday – The Lord’s day

There is a chapter dedicated to each “day” explaining the details of what should be accomplished in that area on that day. Detailed chore lists are supplied to include on each binder page.

For instance, “kitchen day” focuses on purging clutter, organizing, and improving efficiency in the kitchen, plus any bulk cooking that needs to be done.

Kim points out that when these things are done weekly, the tasks don’t seem so enormous.

I like the example she gives of how God took 6 days to create the universe, focusing on specific parts and completing that work before moving on to the next day’s creation.

“He didn’t have to do it like this, but He did, and it is prudent for us to do the same. Focusing on one area of the home on a weekly basis keeps it under control. We are not so tempted to postpone certain housekeeping tasks forever when we have a day set aside to tackle them specifically.”

She reminds us that our days will be interrupted frequently and we can choose to use those interruptions as an opportunity to bless others. Then, we can consult our home management binders to see where we were and what task needs doing next.

Now it is your turn. What are your thoughts on this portion of the book? Remember to link directly to your blog post and include a link in that post to one of The 5 Moms.

Do you have a home management binder?

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Favorite Naptime or Bedtime Read Aloud Books

The 4 Moms are sharing naptime management tips. Be sure to see what the rest of my team has to say about naptime:

As for The Smockity Family, we love our naptimes!

Everyone goes to their beds, or couches, or designated quiet places for one solid hour of absolutely no talking or noise. I don’t care whether they go to sleep, but heads must be on pillows and there must be no noise.

There is so much noise and activity in our family all day long, that an hour of quiet rest is a welcome break for all of us.

Some of the activities I allow during naptime are:

  • reading
  • writing in journals
  • drawing
  • listening to iPods (with ear buds)
  • listening to books on CD

Some of the activities I don’t allow because of mess or noise:

  • coloring (I hate cleaning up scads of broken crayons out of beds!)
  • cutting/gluing
  • puzzles (Ditto with puzzle pieces)
  • train tracks
  • battery operated toys

I used to use a timer to let everyone know when an hour was up, until I figured out this ingenious naptime tip!

Here are some of the books and CD’s we like for pre-naptime or bedtime readings:

Now we would like to know what books you recommend for naptime or bedtime reading! Link up to share your favorites. Here’s how:

1. You must link to a specific relevant post on your blog.
2. Your post must include a link to at least one of the 4 Moms.
3. Your blog post must be completely family friendly.
 
If your link is deleted, you probably didn’t follow one of the rules above. Please feel free to add your link again once you have fixed the problem. If you don’t know why your link was deleted, please ask.

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What's the big deal about Young Living