I remember when we first decided we were going to homeschool. I was certain this would be easy peasy. And my son was so willing.

As he has gotten older he has become less interested, dare I say even downright rebellious, in regards to book work. This has been a real struggle for me.

Books are my dearest friends.

Needless to say our ways have changed so much. Nothing like what I imagined in the beginning.

Today my son is meeting with a local small business owner who is open to an apprenticeship in welding. Mostly medic equipment – quite a few different opportunities for my son. How exciting is that!

I think sometimes we forget that all that school work doesn’t always apply. Everyone does not need to know everything. Learning is meant to be something that drives us, we are to be curious and seek it out for ourselves.

As every mama knows, we cannot force feed a child. If they are hungry they simply will not eat.

It is the same with our learning. We need to want it. We need to desire it.

Our kids can memorize facts and figures but if it doesn’t mean anything to them, it simply doesn’t matter.

I’m excited about this possibility. He is excited too!

This new way of doing things. Who knows where this will lead us.
I do know that the idea of an apprentice is something both of my boys are very excited about.

Dare I say this one with my oldest has inspired my youngest? He sees a need – He too is now reaching out to learn how to one day become an ice hockey coach.

I am so grateful to be a homeschool mama with this sort of freedom. Find your happy place. Get that passion, and then run with it as far as you are avle.. 😁

New Things

Jesus said that He came for those who are sick. If we are not sick, He did not come for us.

We must learn what that means if we truly desire mercy and not sacrifice.

He did not come to call the self-righteous but the sinners to repentance.

We need to know how weak our flesh really is.

I cannot help but wonder: if we (I) were there in the Garden of Gethsemane, would we (I) too have fallen asleep?

Would I Sleep?

It is well … Whatever it may be let us believe, it is well..πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

And he said unto his father, My head, my head… he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, IT SHALL BE WELL.

So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, IT IS WELL.
2 Kings 4:19‭-‬23‭, ‬25‭-‬26 KJV

It Is Well

I’m not one for secrets. I don’t like being told them and I don’t like having them.

It occurred to me the other day as I sat with my kids and church, but I need to do something different. I am not content. I am tired and losing my zest for the church.

I still love Jesus with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. But I have begun to wonder if there isn’t a better way for us to serve Him.

It isn’t just church. I have found that many things I once enjoyed I don’t now. They are just too loud. It’s like my senses are on overload. All the sounds and scents.. they just overwhelm me. And make me tired.

I need to be in a quiet room. I need peace and a slower pace. I need less stuff surrounding me. How hard it is to keep our minds clear and focused when everything around us is such a mess.

I feel tired. Maybe it’s this cold winter. The lack of sunshine. I just don’t feel well. I said as much to a friend who asked me how I was doing.

What can you say except “not so well.” I try to focus each day on the little blessings… Sometimes I just don’t see any. I know they are there, it’s just so hard to see sometimes.

A good friend is visiting from out of state this week and I am really looking forward to it. Seeing her and her daughter is always so healing. There is a joy. They both have and it’s contagious. The joy of the Lord. πŸ’“

I have been reading a lot on repentance. On what it really means to walk in the Spirit. I know my heart is not what it ought to be. I know there is some bitterness. I know that there is some doubt creeping in.

How I’m reminded of my desperate need for God. I need Him. To give me the ability to love and the desire to give. Unselfishly, with no expectations. Only by His power can I love and forgive. How much I need to forgive! (Myself and others)

As I said wrapped up in a warm blanket drinking my coffee, I realized but there is so little for me here. We have so little of true value. Yet we have so much more than others.

It is time for me to become a little more selfish. It is time for me to close my eyes and just sit at Jesus feet. To rest in Him. His yoke, not mine.

I forget sometimes when I see everyone enjoying their time together, I am outside looking in. And there isn’t anything wrong with that.

There is more power having Jesus as my counselor then being surrounded by many. Shall we obey God or man? Isn’t it so easy to follow the ways of the crowd when their voices are more?

It is a reminder that we need time alone with Jesus so that we know his voice. There are so many voices… We must not be deceived.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

Although I am weary and many days I feel like I cannot get along, always He comes alongside me and takes my hand and gives me strength. We shall fall wile will grow weary but it is all about enduring to the end.

I Confess

If the light that is on you is brighter than the light that is in you, the light that is on you will destroy you. – Christine Caine

We did a lot of serving when I was a child. It was just something my mother and I just did. And I always loved it. He didn’t do anything fancy and it didn’t cost us anything our time. And the smiles and the hugs are which received were so worth it. I was raised and reassured that there is always something I can do to help.

As my kids get older I continue to look for opportunities for us to serve together within our community. It is so important for us to see and understand that it’s not all about us. We aren’t here to be helpless bystanders. We were created for GOOD works.

At the same time I like to ensure tuat the things we do are being done with the right heart. It can be so easy to serve, going through the motions. To lose sight of giving with the right spirit. I fear we get caught up in doing without really doing.

I think of our heart, sometimes like bad fruit that is rotting from the inside out. We can’t always see you within. If we don’t examine it carefully it can make us sick.

What are we doing to call today at the fruit in our lives? It has to be more than writing a check or baking treats or sitting in a church pew. 

Meals on Wheels…Kingdom Kids..Soup Kitchens…Food Pantries… Shelters all around the city.

There are so many ways that we can serve. It may take a while to find the one that is just right but as we go along prayerfully, we are certain that God will make a way and show us the place he has for us.

Seek and ye shall find.

No Worms in this Fruit

Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

SchoolhouseTeachers.com {Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Every year that I am a part of the Crew is amazing and it isn’t just because of the great materials that we get to review! Right now, we are exploring SchoolhouseTeachers.com with the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership. Can I just tell you right off the bat, ultimate is an understatement. Currently I have four kiddos at home, ranging in age from four to fourteen. Since every child is different in where they feel led to learn and how they learn, I always appreciate something like SchoohouseTeachers, to give us plenty of variety for each one of our kids. This can easily be your “curriculum” or if you prefer, you can use it to enhance your child’s learning in a variety of areas based upon their interest.

I tend to be one of the least tech saavy moms out there, so I truly appreciate the many tutorials that are a part of this site. Heaven knows, doing so many different classes online (and my kids have quite a few) I easily get overwhelmed and lose track of where and what we ought to be doing. But they have videos for all of that and more. SO the first thing we ALL did was sit down and watch these from: Scope & Sequence, to How to Choose a Course, Bookmarking and Record Keeping. All so very valuable to me!

Lesson planning not your thing? They have a wide range of lesson plans available to help you succeed. I love how these break it all down, lots of detail in what to do day by day so you will always be ready. These can be a great way to encourage independence in some of our older kiddos too – these are literally so easy to use, our kids (within reason) can follow along on their own as they work through courses on the site. I know we try, especially as the kids get older, to follow a plan of some sort, while also leaving room for exploration and some spontaneous fun, but it is nice to have something to help us keep steady, when we do get a little (or a lot) off course.My oldest son was the first one to really dive in! Since he has hopes of visiting an old exchange student we hosted in France, we both agreed that French, would be a good course for him to take, if nothing else, to brush up on his abilities. Turns out there is only one level 😦 He also chose to take the Health 101 course, which I thought was great because it is so important that we know how to keep the body we have strong and healthy. Besides, if he can see and read about all those benefits that come from eating kale, and broccoli, carrots, and salad – Awesome! He has found photography, drama and speech (not long ago he got to assist with some puppet/marionette shows and just loved it!). The fact that he can explore so many different things, taste and see, is a real benefit to him. Since he is thinking of one day writing and publishing a book, there are some great tools to assist him in strengthening his skills in writing and story telling. IN some cases even a bit of learning about how to be organized and plan things out, may seem silly or small, but can make a big difference in how our work is done each day.

With my younger kiddos, there are courses like ABC with Me and Everyday Copywork both which make daily reading and writing so much fun! Some of the assignments revolve around various holidays and celebrations. Because right now with my younger ones we are really focusing on a stronger foundation in these areas, this is a favorite of mine. My two girls really love doing copywork Bible verses, poetry and now and then French too. For my older boys I like that I can print out cursive pages so that they can get some practice too while also learning great quotes, poems and historical events. Some time ago I had tried to get my oldest son to start a Book of Commonplace – while that didn’t seem to work for him, the copywork we are using on this site seems to be doing the job quite well (even if he may not appreciate it right now).They Lived for God is an amazing course! My younger son is always very curious about some of those people and places we read about and so given the chance to see over 30+ videos that brought to life some of those men and women from long ago, this was quite a treat for him. We learned about Augustine, Sarah and Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby (what a beautiful story her life is) and so many other men and women. As we seek to inspire and encourage our kids to greater things for God, things like this, I believe, only help them to see how possible all things really are. So many stories of miracles, signs and wonders that show God’s goodness and love!

There is so much to love about this site! We will be continuing to use this for as long as we are able. Since my oldest son will (hopefully soon) be starting an apprenticeship as a welder, we are planning to take advantage of all of the advanced math courses we can. Math is not my thing, it’s not his either but this is something that you need to have strong abilities in. As time allows of course, I hope to take advantage of many of the Courses Just for Parents because we all know how important it is for us to be feeding our soul too. From helping us to build strong and faithful kids and marriages, to learning and growing in the Charlotte Mason way. As I navigate these teen years I especially plan to complete the courses on Dealing with Emotions (we have some really big ones around here, sometimes rather explosive) and there are so many more that I think can help us learn how to connect with our kids, how to teach Biblical stewardship, how to be encouraged and encourage.

We have also been enjoying movies about the life and work of sled dogs, we enjoyed a unit study or two. When my younger son saw Following the Iditarod (Family/All Ages) by Dena Wood, he was determined to check it out. There are just a TON of great rabbit trails within this (and other) unit studies on this site. From history, to Bible, geography, puzzles and lots of links and references for additional study. This can definitely keep you busy for quite some time if you have kids that want to learn more about this. If that isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, because they have so many more unit studies available in just about every topic you could imagine. There are even unit studies for us parents!

Did I mention this site includes an amazing video library? With kids who are very visual, I love knowing that I can help them learn, in a way that works for them. There are 450+ videos in several different areas we can all explore: kids’ entertainment, marriage, parenting, apologetics, Bible study, and lots more! With this video library two of my kiddos have been able to strengthen their skills in guitar and drums. My youngest daughter has made friends with Donkey Ollie and we are all enjoying learning so much about things like Film making, Apologetics, Biblical/Historical Geography and science comes alive as we watch and learn. πŸ™‚

I cannot forget to mention World Book which is separated into ten Libraries, listed on the World Book Resources by Libraries page. These are also separated into grade and subject. This can be so very helpful for Early Learning, Timelines, Science and so much more! Another great benefit to using SchoolhouseTeachers.com. There are currently two membership options available:

  • Ultimate Membership – PreK – 12th Grade – Access to Every Course
  • Standard Membership – PreK – 8th Grade – Access to Hundreds of Courses.

Once you lock in your membership, you keep that price for as long as you are a member. There are no fees per child, and no additional materials needed for any of the courses.There are also payment options available – we want to make this work for you – these include annual, monthly or quarterly automatic payments.

January 2020 Fresh Start Sale SchoolhouseTeachers.com discount coupon code valid until 31 January 2020

Through the end of January you can join SchoolhouseTeachers.com for only $99/year using the discount code: ONLY99 or $12/month using the discount coupon code: ONLY12

SchoolhouseTeachers.com homeschool Reviews 2020

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Is anyone else pondering friendship and community right now? Searching for our tribe; a place where we “belong.”

I think because we are creatures of habit we tend to gravitate towards who we know and who we are comfortable with. We fear what might happen should we reach out.

“Biblical friendship exists when two or more people, bound together by a common faith in Jesus Christ, pursue him and his kingdom with intentionality and vulnerability. Rather than serving as an end in itself, biblical friendship serves primarily to bring glory to Christ, who brought us into friendship with the Father. It is indispensable to the work of the gospel in the earth, and an essential element of what God created us for.” {The Company We Keep}

I think too in this day and age with all these devices and screens it’s so easy to just not look up. We don’t see beyond our screen… sometimes we don’t want to. Do we even hide behind it perhaps?

My husband is of the opinion that by the time people are the age that we are, we have already established our relationships and we aren’t really looking to branch out.

We have hosted a few exchange students through the years and they come and often comment on the very same thing. They tell us that it is so hard to make friends!

And we are all so busy. When do we have the time anyway?

In this day and age, I think it is vital we slow down. We seek real, deep, filter-free relationships. How can we grow if we don’t ever really know one another?

Only recently did it really begin to both me that all the years in our church and I have never felt “home.” I have never really felt “belonging” outside of just knowing “we are all part of the Body of Christ” which is not enough for me. Not anymore.

Could it be that this could really be true? If God says it…. He is the greatest friend.

As this year begins, I feel I am embarking on so many new things. I am uncomfortable. I am also desperate. For more of God. For more of all that God has for me.

It is time to reach out, to get outside of our self and see the beauties of others. After all, we were designed to not just need but to grow, in relationships that God has for us all!

I love my little house church; I love the small, intimate gatherings. How tested I feel as we search and examine His word and our works, together. It is all meant to be for His good and glory. When iron truly sharpens iron great things can take place for the Kingdom.

Are we willing to go beyond? Taste and see that the Lord is good. β™₯️

Let us pray this year that God will give the ability to understand biblical friendship better, to receive the grace and courage to pursue others with a glad heartβ€”even if our attempts sometimes go unrequited.

Who’s Friend Am I?