Letter 21 – Time

Letter to myselfBack in 2016, I wrote a series of Letters to “my younger self” reflecting on thoughts, attitudes, ideas and approaches in my 20+ years of homeschooling, which I hope will be an encouragement to you in your homeschooling journey.  So, picking up from where I left off, here’s Letter 21 ~ Time

Dear younger Nadene,Image result for grandfather clock

Homeschooling allows you to be free to follow the time-frame needed for your family.  Take more time when you feel stressed and frazzled.  Take some time alone to pray and journal.  Write those things down that frustrate and bewilder you.  The Lord is near to all those who call on Him and He has a gentle and very intimate listening ear.

Give yourself time to figure things out. You are not “supposed” to know how-to, what-to, and when-to do everything all the time.  Take a moment and just breathe in belly-deep and slowly exhale and begin to ask the Lord and yourself some good questions. 

  • Ask the Lord to show you what is important right now, in this season.  He is faithful and will always gently remind you that it is always “People before Things“, it is always about relationships and not stuff!  Focus there first. 
  • Ask who needs the most love right now ~ that is your ministry! What does that person need right now to feel most loved and understood? When we relate to that precious person in grace and love, seeing their fears and failures through the Lord’s eyes of compassion, we become His hands, His heart, and His hope.  
  • Ask the Lord what that individual needs to learn and how to teach it … and this is not necessarily education, but rather character and faith, and pray specifically for those areas of the person’s life.  Often the Lord gives me one or two words to focus on such as “Trustworthiness” or “Truth” or “Transparency”.

Each child’s age and stage constantly change, and with this growing and shifting, you need to adapt your approach and expectations.  When a child no longer fits the expectations you have, take a moment to reconsider who they are and what they need now, at this stage of their lives.  Relax and back off if you feel you are pressing them too hard, or remind and be consistent in those areas that need to be established. 

Remember that it is better to stop “school” to work on good habits, the right attitude and godly character than to relent or ignore real issues to focus on school work.  Life is the lesson!  Don’t back off from quietly insisting on a positive response, or kind behaviour towards siblings, or obedience to important instructions.  Time spent here is worth every minute!  It may seem really hard when your days are constantly “interrupted” by behavioural issues. but it is not easier to send them to school for someone professional to ‘sort out’.  This is your child and you are their perfect parent, and this is your responsibility and your privilege. 

Take time to figure out how.  Ask for help if you need it.  Work as a team with your hubby.  He has a very different approach and if your work together in unity, you will accomplish much!  You are created for dependence and don’t need to do this alone.  Trust the Lord.  He has purposed you for this ministry and He will provide for everything that is needed to accomplish it.

You can do this!

With gracious love, Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Please, would you share yours in the comments?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

 Blessings, Nadene
  • Subscribe Click to receive all my new posts packed with practical tips, projects, plans, pages & art ideas by email
  • Facebook Follow Practical Pages on Facebook

Letter 3 – Unique Individuals

Letter to myselfHere’s the next letter my series ~ “Letter To Mewhere I share the letter I wrote to myself, encouraging myself (and, hopefully, other new homeschoolers)  with what I wish I had known when I started out on our homeschooling journey ~

Dear Nadene,

P1060150Your homeschooling ideals may start out looking like your version of “Little House on the Prairie” … Your three neat young girls; all polite, kind, sweet and obedient.  They may dress the same.  Your young children will play dress-up with bonnets and aprons.  They will play make-believe and act out their read alouds.  They will willingly help with chores, milk cows and bake bread,  they will love their nature study walks, journaling and singing hymns.  You will enjoy this precious, innocent season for a short time.

They will not continue for long. Your girls will abandon most of this in their teens.  They will throw away their Alice bands and try their own hairstyles.  Their fashion sense may shock you.  Your one child may even try to look Gothic!  They may refuse to do some of the Christian activities, some of the Charlotte Mason subjects.  You will be dismayed!   You will go through a deep valley of stresses and struggles.  You may feel that all your values have been lost and ignored.  You will cry many bitter tears of fears and failures.  

But you see, homeschooling allows children to be unique individuals and will equip them to express themselves.  They are simply testing everything to be sure for themselves.  Young teenage daughters will distance themselves from you as a mom to find the woman they are becoming.  It is a crazy process.  Some day there will be moods and darkness, another day it will be sweet childhood and sunshine.

But they still believe. There is no cookie-cutter approach. Don’t take it personally.  Allow them to figure it all out.  Give them some choice and freedom and do not condemn them.  They do not need laws, but grace.  Obviously, maintain your course and include them in deciding how and what to do for homeschooling.  Become collaborative and facilitate their growing independence.Beautiful girlhood Ideals

You will be amazed, but your eldest daughter will comment and encourage and discipline her teen sisters with the very words you spoke to her through her troubled teens.  Those values and character traits have been instilled.

Keep your relationship loving and open.  Maintain heart-to-heart closeness as your greatest priority and privilege.

Above all, trust the Lord to show you what He wants for them.  Trust Him to keep them from falling and present them to the Father with exceeding joy.

Blessings, Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Please, would you share yours in the comments.

Previous posts in this series:

Love bears all things

Scripture poster ~ “Love bears all things” from 1 Corinthians 13

Love bears all thingsHere is your free download ~ Love bears all things.

Blessings,

 

 

Hear and Here

P1150340

Moms seem to give birth to silent guilt.

Homeschool moms seems to amplify that guilt.

Usually any sentence (or even a thought) that starts with “… should have …” is not from God.

He is always “I am.”

Here and now.

He speaks through mercy and grace … continually.

And a listening soul can hear His Words, like whispers, like thoughts.

When I look at myself, or my marriage, or my children with guilt, I usually start to plan, organize, manage, manipulate …

but my attempts bring more striving,

less peace, less rest, more distress …

… until, at last, I give up,

… surrender

and listen 

The Lord’s ways are perfect, simple.

His answers are in Him, not in me.

And He wants to work in me, through me, by faith.

He loves me to start right here and now.

So, as I look back over the past week, or month and see all the things we “should have done” for homeschool, all the character issues still looming and unresolved, all my efforts merely complicating things,

it is a relief to give up, surrender, breathe, and wait on the Lord.

He encourages me with a simple starting point, one thing …

… for me, or my marriage, my kids, or my mission as mom and our homeschooling.

Nothing too complex, nor too far into the future, just a simple word for here and now.

May you be encouraged as you find a moment to listen,

hear the Father’s still, small voice,

and His plan for you for now,

right here.

Blessings and have a wonderful weekend,

Parable Minibooks

blog parable minibooks

My 10-year-old loves our daily Parables minibooks.

She enjoys reading the full, MKJV scriptures in each booklet by herself,

and then narrate the parable back to me.

We have wonderful discussions

and she amazes me with her spiritual insights.

Most of all, she loves to add some things to each minibook  ~

a patch on old cloth,

P1160224

some seeds,

P1160226

a few grains of yeast,

P1160228

jewels,

P1160229

a pearl,

P1160230

some netting and some colored fish,

P1160231

a fluffy lamb

P1160232Her simple delight in these little “add on’s” is a reminder that

young children love the concrete, hands-on activities.

My child’s inspiration has transformed her ‘ordinary’ Bible Notebook pages

into something unique and special!

I am a facilitator to her creativity.

Her notebook pages may turn out quite differently to the way I imagined them,

and that is precisely how it should be ~

HER own!

How do your children make their Bible Study personal?

Blessings,

Titus 2 for Young Ladies

A poster to inspire ~

… adapting the verses originally written to young married women

to disciple my young ladies …

Titus 2 for young womenDownload your free poster ~

Titus 2 for young women

Blessings,

Intimacy

This is how my homeschooling with Miss.L10 the past 3 weeks went ~

Since my burn accident on 3 October evening, I homeschooled from my bed for several weeks.  My littlest homeschooler had a wonderful time!  It has possibly been her happiest homeschooling times.

Now that my injury has healed enough so that I can get up and take it slow, she reluctantly homeschools at the table.

Same content, but intimacy has made all the difference!

For young children especially, I would try find any curriculum that allowed me to ~

  • share my Lord and my faith
  • snuggle together with books and read, read, read!
  • spend time off the schedule to investigate anything interesting along the way
  • join my child in discovery and delight
  • take notice and nurture a love of nature
  • enjoy arts, music and poetry
  • create with our hands
  • expand our minds
  • nurture our hearts

It is important to teach the basic disciplines – reading, language and arithmetic, but just follow Ruth Beechick’s 3 little books and you’ll do fine! And if you follow Charlotte Mason’s methods, your lessons should be short, precise and sweet.

As for a core curriculum, it is like an itinerary ~

https://i0.wp.com/4.bp.blogspot.com/-N7PQ6X-gSVI/TatAe6_T0hI/AAAAAAAADwM/YFyhhAhqp2U/s1600/itinerary.jpg

Just like a travel agent who creates an itinerary for someone’s overseas trip, an “out-the-box” curriculum is a detailed educational plan for your homeschooling.  The publisher may be highly qualified, be an expert in their field and may be very experienced, but you are the master expert of your child.

Regardless of what curriculum you purchase ~

Chose what works for each child (suits their learning style)

Chose an appropriate pace and time-frame (not too slow, nor rushed)

Leave out stuff that just doesn’t “click” with your child (forcing the matter just makes it worse)

Just as you would on a suggested itinerary, stay longer where you find something special,

and skip on over to the next destination when you are done.

You can change the order of things.

You can leave stuff undone or take longer to finish.

Personalize the journey!

You have my permission! [smiles]

Above all, cultivate an intimate relationship with your children.

If your curriculum stresses you or your child (tears, tantrums, depression and avoidance are classic signs of this),

if it rushes you and removes peaceful intimacy,

or if it makes you feel like you or your children are failing,

CLOSE THE FILE and put it away.

Go on a nature walk, have a picnic under a tree and read an amazing classic book to your children, listen to music that inspires, talk about current interests, and you will accomplish more in every way than any curriculum!

This post was written and submitted for the upcoming South African Carnival of Homeschooling (SACH Carnival)

Blessings and intimacy in your relationships.

Inspiring Words

Here is your free download ~ Always tell the truth

May these words inspire.

Blessings,

Armor of God ~ Young Man

A long time ago

I created this poster

for my girls

Put on the full armor

Since then, there have been several requests for

a poster for a

young man

Here, at last ~

The Armor of God for a Young Man

Here’s your free download ~

Armor of God ~ Young Man

May your young sons be inspired to be spiritually dressed and prepared and to take their stand in the Lord.

You will find loads more free Bible posters, lessons, downloads, ideas and inspiration in my Bible Pages.

Blessings,

Scripture Prayer Calendar

Praying Mothers impact their children’s lives for the kingdom of God.

Over at Inspired to Action I downloaded Kat’s

Inspired to Action Prayer Calendar for Mothers.

Each day focuses on

  • a specific spiritual character
  • followed by a mother’s prayer for her children
  • & scripture reference

Each day you pray for your child’s Salvation,  their Growth in Grace, Love, Honesty/ Integrity, Self-Control and many more qualities.

I have loved praying specifically each day, and wanted to read the scriptures each day too …

… so I created a Scripture Prayer Calendar which now stands on my desk.

My kids read it too, which is a real blessing.

To make your own Prayer Calendar  (with updates)

Download the files ~

  1. Print out on card stock
  2. Cut out each page
  3. Fold and glue the 2 front covers and 2 back covers together for extra strength
  4. Fold and glue the attaching piece to the inside bottom of the front & back covers
  5. Punch 2 holes at the top each page
  6. Insert rings and it’s done!
  7. Use it for your own devotions or take a quiet moment to read the scripture and pray together.

Do you pray specifically for your children?  Share with us in the comments.

Blessings,

I have published this with Kat’s permission at Inspired to Action and acknowledging her use of Bob Hostetler’s original prayer list.