10 Tips for Teaching High Schoolers at Home

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

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

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Q&A: How do you get your children to have interests? Mine just want to play video games all the time.

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Question: How do you get your children to have interests? Mine just want to play video games all the time.

Answer: First of all, you really need to limit the time you allow your kids to use video games. It’s just too habit forming and it’s been proven to stunt creativity.  If they just aren’t allowed much time to do it, they will begin to develop other interests.

Get some interesting reading material to have on hand. Plant good books around the house where your kids will easily find them and see if they will pick one up on their own. (sometimes kids are more apt to try something if they feel it was their idea!). Take them to the library and encourage them to explore topics that interest them and meet your approval. If your child doesn’t love to read, give him access to great audiobooks that will take him to new worlds, meet new people, introduce new ideas and concepts. So many of the great thinkers and inventors in American history were avid readers. (such as Benjamin Franklin!) It’s no coincidence!

Continue reading Q&A: How do you get your children to have interests? Mine just want to play video games all the time.

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Helping Your Kids Deal with Grief

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

A few weeks ago, I posted about our journey with Josh and his battle with leukemia. I got quite a bit of feedback, so felt it might be helpful to tell how we helped our kids deal with their grief when Josh was promoted to heaven.

I’ve found that everyone deals with grief differently and it wasn’t easy with 12 other children to predict how they would respond or to have the wisdom to help each one. God provides the grace and wisdom when you need it- how that truth has been shown clearly to me so many times! When you need it, God will be there to pour out His wisdom to you.

First of all, expect the kids to have different responses. Some want to talk, some don’t want to talk about it, some just need time, some have questions, and some, usually the younger ones seem to have an incredible acceptance, trust and peace. Realize it’s okay and actually normal for there to be different ways in handling it.

Continue reading Helping Your Kids Deal with Grief

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Christmas Memories

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

This past Christmas, our son Nate posted a lovely tribute to us on Facebook. He shared some of his Christmas memories as a child growing up in a very large family with not much money.

I wanted to share it with you to offer encouragement to the parent who feels like they can’t possibly be doing anything right; to the parent who is struggling financially; to the parent who wonders if their kids will ever realize how much you love them.

Keep doing right. Stay the course. Your kids are watching and observing, even when you don’t realize it!

From Nate: (Age: 39)

Christmas memories: “I’ve been reflecting the past few days on how my parents made Christmas special for us. Our grandparents lived hundreds of miles away and times were very tight when I was little, much tighter than I knew at the time, so Mom and Dad had to make Christmas special for us on their own for the most part.

I was so excited by Christmas as a kid I had very little idea that it was a time of extra financial pressure for them. Or how much Dad felt it and covered it up for our sake. I remember times when he gave us used toys or tools, at least for some of our gifts. I just thought he gave us those things because they were really cool. I had no idea that it was difficult for him to get into the spirit because he was struggling so hard, doing a humble business in the construction trades, doing work that didn’t excite him as a people person, all the while the pressure to feed a growing family weighing upon him.

Continue reading Christmas Memories

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Is the Bible Really Relevant for a Child’s Daily Life?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

You hear a lot these days in Christian circles about freedom in Christ. Christ has set us free! Yes, He has! I’m so grateful for that, but just why has he set us free? Does that mean we are free to evaluate all the philosophies of the world and make our own decision about how to live our lives? Can we merely follow our desires and tell ourselves that God gave us our desires and we’re free to pursue what we love to do?

If we are truly born again, we are bought with a price. We are to be servants of the Most High God. Our lives are not our own. We belong to Him, and the only reason He left us on this earth  is to serve Him, not to pursue our desires.

How can I know what is the right way to raise my kids? How can I know if something “questionable” is okay to do? Are there any FAQ’s to help me make wise decisions? How can I raise my kids to be able to make wise decisions when they are no longer kids and looking to me for guidance in daily decisions?  Or when I’m dead and gone? There are so many philosophies out there. How do I evaluate them?

Continue reading Is the Bible Really Relevant for a Child’s Daily Life?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Why We Chose To Keep Our Kids in Church With Us & How We Trained Them to Do So

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail
keeping-kids-in-church
Through the years, we‘ve chosen to keep our children in church with us rather than sending them off to age- graded groups. It’s a decision we can say we‘ve been glad we made and stuck by even though others often misunderstood our intentions.
We felt it was important for our children to be together as a family while we worshiped the Lord. We found that they absorbed a lot more from being in the adult service than we ever expected, even as very young children.
We always saw the family as the primary place for spiritual training, and as such, was the place we chose to teach our children Scripture memory, doctrine and character building, instead of delegating that task to children’s programs. We would gear their memory verses to character needs we saw in their own lives as individuals.

Continue reading Why We Chose To Keep Our Kids in Church With Us & How We Trained Them to Do So

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Making the Most of Our Time

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

making the most of our time

this is re-posted from our 2010 archives…..

I love the verse, “Teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom”. (Psalm 90:12)

I’m sharing with you something the Lord has been impressing on me recently. I am a person who lives by my lists. I write down things I need to get accomplished each day and delight in crossing items off my list as I complete the tasks.

Contemplating the end of summer drawing near, I was struck with how I don’t feel ready for it to end. There is so much I wanted to do, that I haven’t gotten done due to the busyness of life; things like cleaning and organizing projects, like special days with the grandkids, like fun stuff with Kelley and Kasey- things we don’t seem to get to do during the school year- things like family day trips to historical places, and so on!

And yet, I’ve crossed a lot of things off my list. The Lord seemed to prick my conscience causing me think, “Yes, I’ve crossed a lot off my list, but what have I accomplished for eternity? What really counts? Am I just crossing off items on my list and feeling a false sense of accomplishment or am I making the most of every day and every opportunity to be used of God in the little things?”

For instance, we’ve had a lot of functions this summer- friends showers, weddings, anniversaries, etc. Yes, a lot are crossed off my list, but did I find someone to impact while I attended those things? When at church, did I just sit there or did I find someone to encourage?  Am I just crossing off the lists in my life or am I making a difference in God’s scheme of eternity?

Continue reading Making the Most of Our Time

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

 

encourage 2

Our time with our kids is so short. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Purpose to realize that your days with your kids living in your home are numbered. They grow up so fast. Remind yourself of that when the day seems long and hard. Everyone needs encouragement. Be your kids biggest cheerleader!

Here’s some tips to help you focus.

1. Don’t complain.  Proverbs tells us ” A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. You can actually be a healing balm to your children by maintaining a merry heart. Griping brings discouragement. It surely does to everyone- the griper and those listening. Your cheerfulness will make your kids want to be around you and later listen to what you have to say.

2. Acknowledge their attempts to do well. Yes, I mean their attempts. Maybe they wanted to help you clean up but spilled the lemonade on the floor while carrying it to the kitchen. Oops. It’s just a mistake. Acknowledge their attempt to be helpful. When they find something difficult- maybe long division- and finally get a problem correct, praise them. It’s been a long, hard road, but hey, here is a small success! Encourage them.

Continue reading 10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Am I Depriving My Child of Extra Curricular Activities?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

extra curricular

One thing I’ve discovered in 36 years of homeschooling is that to effectively homeschool, you have to be home! Sounds simple, but honestly there are SO many good opportunities to involve your kids in that it’s hard to accomplish.

I found it really hard in the early years to say no to people. There are so many ministries to be involved in, athletic events for kids to participate in, group sports, multiple lessons, classes to be taken, etc. The list is endless.

I found it necessary to constantly evaluate. Is this opportunity a distraction from my priorities or my kid’s priorities. Busyness is normal in our culture, but it’s possible to be too busy to think properly.

I want my kids to have opportunities, but too many opportunities clutters up their life and thinking.  God’s Word is number one priority and maybe the easiest thing to put on the back burner if we are not vigilant about it. NOTHING is more important than our relationship with the Lord. We must cultivate it, though. We have to take time to have a quiet heart before the Lord and develop our relationship with Him.

Continue reading Am I Depriving My Child of Extra Curricular Activities?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Q: Did You Allow Your Children to Attend Sleepovers?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

sleepovers

*First of all- let me clarify that this is a question we were asked. We’re not at all saying if you make a different decision in this matter, you are wrong. This is simply the position we chose to follow when our children were young.

A: In raising our kids we chose to be on the cautious side. I’m not sorry that we did. Now as the world seems to be on a slippery slide into depraved immorality, I think parents need to exercise even more caution to protect their children. That’s one of the functions of a parent! If we don’t do it, who will?

One of our jobs is to train our children to learn discernment. Discernment is learning  how to distinguish right from wrong and using that sensitivity to make wise choices in life.

When our kids are young, we need to be the filter for them and make our decisions cautiously.  We need to be careful not to put them in situations where they are faced with moral dilemmas and not have us there to guide them through.

Continue reading Q: Did You Allow Your Children to Attend Sleepovers?

FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail