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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Peanut Butter Christmas Kiss Cookies

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Peanut Butter Christmas Kiss Cookies have been a long-time Christmas cookie tradition in our home for many, many years. Everyone looks forward to these special sweet treats! This version of the recipe includes colored sprinkles and peppermint kisses!

This is a great cookie recipe for kids to make with you, too, because they can easily help with many of the steps…such as rolling the dough into balls, coating the balls with sugar or sprinkles, unwrapping the chocolate kisses, and also adding the kisses to the cookies.

So, gather your little ones in the kitchen and make some Christmas memories!

Here’s the recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Peppermint Hershey’s kisses (any kind work, if you don’t care for peppermint)

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What is Thanksgiving All About?

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Does your family know the true story of how Thanksgiving came about?  I have been so surprised by the lack of books that tell the story of Thanksgiving. Ultimately, our celebrations should be about offering thanks to God from whom ALL blessings flow, but also about this American tradition of setting aside a day to focus on offering thanks.

I had a mom recently thank me for the little reading book, The First Thanksgiving that we sell on our website. She said growing up in the public school setting she had always learned that Thanksgiving was about the Pilgrims thanking the Indians for helping them through the hard winter.  She said it was really eye opening to learn that they were really setting aside a day to offer gratefulness to God.

Continue reading What is Thanksgiving All About?

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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I’m sure I didn’t do everything right when raising my kids. No one does. There is no perfect parent, but it sure is sweet when you realize you did something right, even if you didn’t realize all the implications it would have when you did it. (Be sure to read Part 1 of this series, too!)

As a really young mom, my kids were born pretty close together, and I didn’t have much time for anything but my kids. But as some of the kids got a little older, God impressed upon me that I needed to teach my kids to serve others. Sometimes that’s best learned through doing.

There was an elderly couple who used to come to our church. They had been missionaries to Germany during the time just before World War II . We invited them to our home for dinner one day and began to get to know them. Soon after that, the man, who had diabetes, had to have his leg amputated and their visits to church become less frequent. We would watch for them to arrive each week, though, and we’d help to wheel Mr. Hutchinson in to church as it was a bit hard for his wife to do that.

Then we began to visit them. I would always take Laura with me. She was about 10 years old. I’d talk with her on the way out to their house (they lived about an hour from us) about how to listen for hints of things they liked or things they needed to have done that we might be able to do. Aunt Lillie, as we called her, would often ask Laura to play her a song on the piano when we visited.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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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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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.

Continue reading Why Did We Homeschool Our Children?

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 50 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

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Rainy Days getting you down?

It’s true- after a few days of rainy weather, the kids are just bored and full of energy, and you feel worn out trying to keep them occupied.

Here’s a few ideas to spark some new interest and add a little fun to these otherwise gloomy days.

All these ideas cost very little, or nothing at all, and they can all be done from the comforts of home.

I have included some activities for all ages- preschool, elementary age, and even teens. (plus it always amazes me what little ones can do if they see the older ones doing it.)

We’ve used so many of these ideas in our own home over the years!

You might even see your kids all excited when a rainy day comes!!

1. Bubble stuff– let them don raincoats and step out to blow bubbles in the rain

2. Play dough

Here’s a less crumbly type of play dough you can make, and the kids will enjoy helping to make it and choose their favorite color to distinguish theirs from everyone else.

  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • few drops liquid food coloring
  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil

Mix and cook in saucepan on medium heat until mixture coagulates into a ball. Cool. Store in air tight container.

3. Outlining– gather a bunch of objects- jar lids, combs, Popsicle sticks, cookie cutters, bottle tops, containers, etc. and let the kids place them on a sheet of paper and trace around their outlines.

4. Gluing shapes– cut a bunch of rectangles, circles, squares, triangles, and so on from construction paper and use glue sticks to glue them down in creative arrangements. If you have older kids, they can cut the shapes out for you.

Continue reading  50 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

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Our Story- Part 2 “Truant Officers, Fear, and a Summons to Court”

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I’ve been sharing with you how we began to homeschool. That was 37 years ago!

But, I stopped in the middle of the story, so let me continue…

You see, back in the early ’80s, “Homeschooling” was a foreign concept. We didn’t personally know anyone who had done it. There was no internet, so no way to “ask Facebook” if anyone else out there was homeschooling. It was so very different than it is now.

We had loved our first year homeschooling our 2 oldest boys. What began as a desire to teach my kids for just 1 year, quickly turned into a burning desire, that we believe God gave us, to continue. But, the following year, we were blindsided with an experience I would never want to repeat

Continue reading Our Story- Part 2 “Truant Officers, Fear, and a Summons to Court”

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Our Story- Part 1 “A Beginning in Home Education”

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Many of you who follow this blog, know us- The Boyers.  Maybe you’ve heard us speak at homeschooling conventions in your state (perhaps we’ve met you there!) or maybe you have used some of our Homeschooling Character Curriculum or listened to an Uncle Rick audiobook. Or maybe you just know us as ‘that family with 14 kids who were all homeschooled.’

But, I suspect many of you don’t know the story of how we got started in home education, which eventually led to us having a chance to know many of you!

Nowadays, the fact that we chose to homeschool our kids doesn’t seem all that out of the ordinary. Happily, lots of people do it.

But, in the early years- back in the 80’s- it definitely wasn’t viewed as ordinary!  So, why did we do it?  Just what got us started on this crazy 37 year journey of homeschooling?

Well, here’s our story…

Back in 1979, we were attending a small church that was just starting a wonderful Christian school. We had 4 kids at the time. Our two oldest were 5 years and 3 years old. Preschool was just starting up and we had a sweet teacher who focused on teaching character as well as academics to the kids. We placed Rickey and Timmy in preschool that year and were delighted with how they were being taught.

By the second half of the year however, God pricked my heart, impressing upon me that little Nathan and Josh, who were 2 years and 5 months old had to spend a large part of their day strapped into their car seats to make the journey to drop the boys off in the morning and then pick them up around noon. We lived a half-hour from church, so basically we were home for only an hour before we had to load up and pick up their big brothers. We were travelling 2 hours a day just to transport them to and fro.

Continue reading Our Story- Part 1 “A Beginning in Home Education”

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