Teaching Your Kids To Care: Part 4

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This time I’ll share some ideas that older kids ages 6 and up can do. Don’t hesitate to let little kids be a part of ministry even if there is not as much they can physically do. They are learning the life-style by being with you.

Being involved in the lives of others is the perfect antidote to kids who don’t care. Don’t be discouraged if they are uncomfortable when you start ministering to others. That’s normal. When I took Luke to visit a boy with a brain tumor, he told me he was a bit scared on the way there. I told him I was too. I hadn’t ever met the people either. We took him some audio books as a gift and nerf guns. He and Luke started playing with the nerf guns, and when I told him it was time to go, he was begging me to stay longer. It’s all about getting out of our comfort zones, and yes, it’s ok if they are hesitant to do that. Me too! But aren’t we glad when we do!!

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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Miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here

Mark 12:30-31: ” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

We want to raise our kids to be kids of character. That means more than just mentally knowing what character is.  Sure, that’s the first step in training your kids. They can’t take steps to implement it if they’re unaware of it. After they’ve learned that though, it’s important to take action. How do we do it? When do we do it? How do we find needs?

First of all, look around you. Look at your neighbors. Look at your church members. Look at your acquaintances. Those are the people God has put in your sphere of influence. Begin listening to them. It can almost be like a treasure hunt to see who can be attentive/alert and find needs that others have.

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 1

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It’s so easy, especially for homeschoolers, to inadvertently communicate to our kids that life is all about them. We’re looking for the perfect curriculum to meet their needs, engaging them in activities that they are passionate about, taking them on exciting outings, planning special parties and events and all that is good. We should be doing that, BUT, are we failing to instill in them a higher calling?

Why are we here? Why does God leave us on this earth after we get saved? Why not just take us to heaven then and there? What are we trying to equip them for? To get a good job? To be happy in life?

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 1

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My Kids’ Favorite Books: a book list for later elementary to middle school

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One of my favorite things to see, as a parent, is my children curled up on the sofa, or sitting outside on the porch swing, or numerous other places reading! And let me add to that- reading without me telling them to go read….reading because they want to!

So, as I’m thinking about Christmas gifts (or birthday gifts, etc.) for my kids or nieces and nephews, I love to include BOOKS as part of their present.

Reading is one of those wonderful pastimes that is the same as it was 100 years ago. You find a book and you read it. (granted, I suppose you could be reading it on a kindle or ipad or something, now) 🙂 And, it is just as beneficial as it ever was. It stimulates the imagination, it feeds you with knowledge, it broadens your scope of life and history by learning of others’ experiences, it inspires through achievements and endeavors of people before us, it sharpens your spelling skills and builds your vocabulary without ever having to pull out a textbook to do so. What a great gift!

So, with Christmas shopping underway, perhaps you will enjoy this little list of some of my kids’ favorite books to read. I love book lists because they help me narrow down my options instead of having to search through the thousands of children’s books out there and not knowing where to start. There’s a lot of trashy books out there too, so I appreciate lists that give me good, wholesome choices.

We actually used several of these titles for school reading. I buy several books at the beginning of the year and then let the kids choose which ones they will read. When they’ve finished that book, they go back to those options and choose again. They really like handling it this way, as it allows them to have some say in what they read for school.

So, here you go:

Book List for approximately grades 4-8 or ages 9-13

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising my Kids- Part 1

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My youngest (of 14 children)  just turned 19. She graduated from high school this past June – a few days after she got her private pilot’s license!

Reflecting on this, I thought I would write a few posts on things I’m glad I did while raising my kids…..

#1- Let them explore their passions. Make opportunities to allow them to learn what they’re interested in.

Kasey had a real passion for planes ever since she was very little.

We were talking one day about my dad, who was in World War II. She became interested in learning about the places ‘Gramp’ had been on his ship the Teton in the navy. He was a signal man.

We started reading about the Battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, etc. Then, in the course of shopping, Kasey started noticing men in stores wearing their World War II caps. She asked me to go up to them and thank them. We began approaching them, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service.

It was out of my comfort zone at first, but we soon found it meant so much to them to have a young person be interested in their experiences and grateful for them. Often we’d ask what branch of the service they’d been in, where they had fought or been stationed. We’d make an appointment to go visit them later. Then we’d go home and read about where they said they had been so we could ask more intelligent questions. Kasey made a glider out of PVC pipes and canvas after hearing of one vet who rode the gliders into Normandy. It was a bit too heavy- didn’t work very well, but she learned from that.

Boy, did we ever learn a lot of history from these men and developed some incredible friendships in the process. One of the men we became friends with was Bill Overstreet who had been an ace in World War II. He had flown his plane underneath the Eiffel Tower to shoot down a German Messerschmidt. He had been captured once and escaped. As we would visit, he’d share more of his experiences.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising my Kids- Part 1

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Curriculum Pick: Geography and Prayer

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Geography and Prayer??

Yes, they can go together! This is my favorite resource for teaching geography through prayer. Sound weird? Well, it makes so much sense.

I wanted my kids to know geography. Not only where to find countries on a map, but something about that country and it’s people. This is the perfect resource….

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Q&A: Do my kids need to be in a co-op if I am homeschooling?

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Question: Do my kids need to be in a co-op if I am homeschooling?

Answer: Absolutely not. I homeschooled my kids for 37 years and never had any of them in a co-op. There wasn’t any such thing ’till recent years.

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Why Did We Homeschool Our Children?

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We were home schooling when nobody was homeschooling. We started with our firstborn son in his kindergarten year, 1980–81. It started out as a matter of convenience but soon grew into a conviction.

Close to 40 years later, we have never experienced a moment of doubt as to our choice. That little boy in kindergarten is now a college graduate, a lawyer and a married man with five children, all of whom he and his wife plan on teaching at home. He is also the eldest of our fourteen sons and daughters. His younger siblings, some of whom are also the parents of our 16 grandchildren, are homeschooling as well. Obviously, our children are as pleased as their parents are with the method of education we chose.

Over the years, of course, curious people have asked us why we made the decision to begin and continue homeschooling our children. There are many reasons we love it, but for the sake of brevity I’ll share just a few here.

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Easy Economics for High Schoolers

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Let me tell you about a great resource for teaching economics to your high schooler. It’s called Biblical Economics in Comics by Vic Lockman.

It actually looks and reads like a comic book! You might be thinking, Comic book…for a high schooler?  How can that be all that educational, and aren’t they, after all, a little old for comics?

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10 Tips for Teaching High Schoolers at Home

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We home schooled all of our children (14 of them) all the way through high school. And I am so glad that we did.

Here are 10 tips that I have learned through the years of homeschooling highschoolers that can help to make these years more enjoyable, effective, and productive for you and your kids.

1.Don’t be afraid to substitute creative subjects for what is usually taught in high school. Public schools don’t have the one best plan for education. Every young person is unique. One of my daughters wanted to do biology, advanced biology, first aid and advanced first aid for her science credits. That’s fine. Don’t feel like you have to follow a public school plan.

2. Ask for input from your student. Ask them how they learn best, what they would like to learn, what curriculum looks good to them. The more input they have into what they learn, the more they will invest themselves in learning.

3. Be sure you have an outlet for your high schooler to invest in the lives of others. Teaching them to have a servant’s heart and not be self-focused is key. Teach them to look for needs in others and extend themselves in meeting those needs. If you instill that in them, you’ve been a success. Life is about serving others, not pleasing self.

Continue reading 10 Tips for Teaching High Schoolers at Home

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