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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 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.

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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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My House is Quiet Now

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Rick and I used to joke whenever we’d sing the hymn Blessed Quietnesssaying, “hey, what is that?!” Quietness was not something you often experienced in our home. I remember times when the noise was so overpowering that I’d call a quiet time. That meant everyone had to sit quietly, read or play a quiet game for a specified period of time just to give mom a time to collect her thoughts.  It wasn’t always chaos but when you have 16 people living in the same house, it’s just not quiet. It’s busy. It’s active. There’s always something going on.

Well, things have changed now. I only have 2 kids living at home. Those 2 kids have jobs and interests and commitments and more often than not, my house is REALLY quiet. I’ve had a couple of occasions lately when a friend has stopped by and comments, “Wow, it just seems weird that your house is so quiet now.”  It is weird ,and I’m not sure I like it. It has it’s advantages sometimes,(it’s easier to concentrate when I write for instance)  but I LOVED experiencing life with my growing kiddos. I am proud of every one of them for the people they’ve turned out to be, but I do miss being mommy to little people.

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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.

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Teach Your Children God’s Word

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Psalm 119:97 says, “ O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day”.

Kids need to be involved with God’s Word during the day.

Memorizing is the first step in meditating. Meditating has been compared to a cow chewing her cud. First she swallows it, then brings it back up, and chews it all over again.

In order to meditate you have to first commit the Scripture to memory by getting it into your mind and then contemplate it, think about it, and finally decide how to apply it to your life. That’s when it makes it’s way from your head into your heart and works out in your life.

Our kids need us to help them with this.

Do you want your kids to be wiser than their enemies? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 98 “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies, for they are ever with me.”

Do you want your kids to accomplish greater things than you do? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation.”

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Our Story Part 3- “Through the Years”

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As I said in Part 2 of this series, homeschooling really took off and began to grow. We had a meeting in our basement helping others get started, but all over the country the same thing was happening. It wasn’t long before groups formed and homeschooling conventions, though really small at first started to spring up.

We had a lot of people asking us questions. We began to get some speaking engagements. People wanted to know why we focused on character building in training our kids and how we did it. “What about socialization?” was a big concern for many. We tried to answer questions, but soon forgot what we had told to who. Hence, our first book was The Socialization Trap.  We wrote it because of the growing concern in the country.

State homeschooling groups continued to emerge, and we started getting more requests for speaking. It wasn’t easy to travel with so many little ones still at home and more on the way, but we really felt God was calling us to encourage other parents. Hence, The Learning Parent was born- our ministry of parent encouragement.

We told others how we taught our kids, and as the years went by people asked if we could make materials available so they could glean from our experience and teach character to their kids as well. So we began producing character curriculum. Now, The Learning Parent, has produced a whole line of character curriculum and we call ourselves Character Concepts and provide curriculum from preschool through high school.

Anyway, I thought it might be kind of fun to give you a visual picture of how things developed through the years through a timeline.

I’m sure I’ll leave out some important details, but I hope you enjoy taking a peak at the Boyer family – then and now.

So here we go…..

Continue reading Our Story Part 3- “Through the Years”

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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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