Archive for April, 2012

If you have never attended a homeschool conference, I highly recommend it. I learned a wealth of information at the one I attended a few years back. I understand that some of us cannot leave home this year to attend one. So, the wonderful people at Homeschool How-to Conference are bringing you one online. It runs from May 1-3, 2012.

Here are 5 Great reasons to attend:

1. Gain access to homeschooling experts who are homeschooling parents themselves. They’ve been in your shoes, and they understand the problems you face.

2. Avoid travel aggravation. No traveling with small children, hotel bills, fast-food frustrations, or vendor-hall fatigue. Listen from the comfort of your home, in your pajamas if you wish! Or listen whenever you like if you buy the downloads or CDs. Many of the speakers are the same ones who speak at the largest national homeschooling conventions.

3. Zero cost to you. Listening live is free with a Standard Pass.

4. Meet other homeschoolers. Interact with other parents, authors, and speakers, and learn from your peers via virtual networking and Q&A Roundtables.

5. Learn how to make biblical homeschooling practical, as our experts show you how God’s Word can be used in every part of your homeschool.

Speakers

One of my good friends Kelli from @adventurez in child rearing will be speaking on encouraging families to use the Bible as the cornerstone of their homeschool curriculum and to get out to explore God’s creation together. Some of the other speakers include: Kraig and Anne Elliott @Homeschooling Bible, Dave and Debbie Klein @Inkleinations, Davis Carman owner of Apologia Educational Ministries, Norman Willis overseer of Nazarene Israel, Lee Binz @The Home Scholar, Candace Allgood @SONbeams, Elizabeth Brown @The Phonics Page, Don Potter @donpotter.net, Susan Stewart @Practical Inspirations, Merle Reece designer of Student of the Word Curriculum, Jim Pence @jamespence.com, and Andrew Pudewa founder of Excellence in Writing.

Registration

You can attend for FREE with a Standard Pass or purchase a Premium Pass for $49 to get extra goodies and the MP3s of the sessions. If you use the code ADVENTUREZ you can save 10% of your Premium Pass ticket.

Goodie Bag

~1 full year Bible Curriculum from Foundations Press.

~ebook – Biblical Home Education – Anne Elliott

~2 Bible Based Nature Unit Studies: Wildflowers & Clouds – Kelli Becton, AdventurezInChildRearing.

~Plus, much more from the other sponsors and speakers.

Giveaway

One of my readers will win a Premium Pass ticket to the conference. All you need to do is comment on this post. Please comment by Monday April 30th at 8:00pm CST. A commenter will be chosen at random using Random.org.

{Material Disclosure: I received a Premium Pass in exchange for spreading the word about the Homeschool How-To Conference.}

…The disciplines of childhood would harden into concrete adult lives. I waxed eloquently. They listened politely and appropriately. When given a chance they ran… (Ted Tripp)

How often do I feel Tripp’s above statement. As I am explaining disciplines to my children, they listen but do they hear and when given the chance they smile and go on with their lives. Tripp explains the statement of shaping influences – events & circumstances in a child’s developmental years that prove to be catalysts for who he/she is to become. All the aspects of family living have a profound impact on the persons your children become.

This made me think of my day from sunrise to sunset. I enjoy getting up before the children and having a time with God. Praying and reading his word. This always gives me a better start to my day. Days that I do not have my quiet time with God, they lack refreshment. Knowing this, I have never started the kids days that way. I have never got them up and prayed and read God’s word with them to start their day anew. Would it not make sense that this would make for a better day for them as well?

Deuteronomy 6:2 says, “so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” I enjoy life when I live it by God’s commands and when I start my days, seek Him through my days, and end my days with Him. I desire my children and my children’s children to enjoy long life as well.

Tripp goes on to say, “the person your child becomes is a product of two things. First is his/her life experience. The second (and in my opinion the more important of the two), how he/she interacts with that experience. It had me thinking how do I and my husband react to experiences?

We want our children to react Godly to situations. They see God through us, our testimony and how we react to situations. How we react is often how our kids will react. Do we stop in prayer and praise and thank the Lord for is grace and mercies in daily situations? Do we drop to our knees in front of our children when we need guidance? I know many times I do these small prayers in my head, when perhaps I should be taking the time to do them with my children. Nothing is more important than showing my children God’s love, mercy, and grace. Showing them God in everything around us and thanking Him for it. If they see that God is faithful would they not want to follow Him more?

I have been struggling with my oldest son and him having a thankful heart. Today, God asked me, does he see that you have a thankful heart? He responds according to the Godward orientation of his heart. What is the orientation of my heart? God says in everything we do and throughout our day to pray without ceasing. I need to include my children in this. If I can do this with my children and help them see and do this as well at such a young age. Their walk with God and the possibilities are endless.

Children hear everything
Children see everything

How do we react to others in family life? What is the structure of my family life? We often learn from watching our parents. This made me think of a talk I heard recently by Debra Bell, and what she had to say about God’s design. God designed us to learn and He designed the family as a place for our children to learn. I asked myself these questions. Do I respect my parents in front of my children? Do I respect my husband in front of my children? Do I show my children the joy and love of marriage? Do they see that God is first in my life? Do they see that their father is the head of the household? Do they see that God is the authority over my life and that his authority is one of love?

It is intriguing for me to look at my children as they are now and their attitudes, personalities, needs, etc; and apply those to if they were to be married now or going to be soon. Would they make a good spouse? Do you know that marriage is one of the hardest and also one of the most rewarding times of my life. In shepherding my child’s heart and in showing them the creator; one of their testimonies is to their spouse, and I want them to be a benefit and a blessing.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,

which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world

rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:8

I know that I fall prey to human traditions in raising my children.  The main focus of this book by Ted Tripp is that the only true guide book and guide that you need is God and his word.  With that being said, God uses people and I have found this book is as much for me then it is for my children.  It has really caused me to look at my heart, walk with God, marriage, etc,.  How do my children see me in my day to day actions?  How do they see me react to situations?  God has used Ted Tripp to write this book and I am grateful that he did.

In my conclusion for Chapter 2 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart I would like to restate something Tripp said, “If your child knows and loves God, if your child has embraced the fact that knowing God can enable him to know peace in any circumstance, then he/she will respond constructively to your shaping efforts.

So, my question to myself and you is… Does my child see that I have embraced knowing God and that I have realized that through faith I can know peace within any circumstance?

~thank you Amanda @ The Pelsersfor hosting this heart shaping book club. Please everyone go and check out Amanda’s take on the chapters and see the other bloggers that have also linked up and posted as well.

Till next time and Ch:3 of, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Ted Tripp.

It started like any other morning of the week. Ha Ha, who am I kidding. I was dressed AND fixing my hair.

This was a retreat. A retreat for homeschooling moms. Last month, I went on an amazing retreat with a lot of other mom’s. Mom’s looking for refreshment, mom’s wondering if homeschooling was right for them, mom’s in the pits looking for a hand. God’s hand!

Its started at a nice 9 am. I got to sleep in, that in itself was a retreat. Seriously, the retreat started with inspiration and encouragement from the beginning.

The first mom to grace us with her experience and words of encouragement was Deb Bell.

Deb had more knowledge than I could possibly write down in my notes. Some of my favorite quotes from her were:

Your kids are hardwired to learn, by God’s design

God works redemptively, He works forwards & backwards in time. God will redeem those moments in you and your kid’s lives.

Looking through 50 years of research of seeing how kids learn best, and then if I was given the opportunity to build a school from the ground up, I would build a home.

I felt like Deb Bell was speaking directly to me. God used her to make me realize that God created the home as a learning environment for the whole family. Not just my kids, but all of us. God did not say anything in his Word about an institution to send our children too. God gave us a very rich environment in the home and the entire universe. He designed our children to search out the mystery of nature. While children are curious and designed to learn, parents are to help guide that learning. I think so many times that I am not smart enough or good enough to be my children’s teacher, but God says I am the perfect guide through him. I must put my faith in God and his design.

Please check out Deb at her site, to be inspired and encouraged.

Please stay tuned for my other posts on the wonderful homeschooling mom’s that spoke at, “Apologia Live 2012”. And, check out their schedule for next year on realrefreshment.com.

She is a beautiful ball of energy. (one of the reasons it is difficult to catch her radiant smile directed right at the camera) My sweet daughter I love her so much. God gave her to me to raise and I am failing her in so many ways. Me and this precious girl butt heads daily over quite simple things and I have tried and tried to change her behavior. I have been told that, “it is just a girl thing, you will get used to it”. While that may hold some truth, I know I haven’t been getting to the heart of the matter.

A few weeks ago, I was given the privilege of attending a retreat in Atlanta (more on that later), in attendance were some other amazing women and one of those amazing women was Amanda Pelser of the blog The Pelsers. Amanda invited me to join a book club, where we would be reading, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”, by Tedd Tripp.

The Pelser's Shepherding Book Club

I am thankful for God for presenting this book to me to help me shepherd my little daughters heart. I know that I am not the only one that feels like frustration rules their decisions sometimes. Chapter 1 of this book has already given me confidence, and with God anything is possible.

Tedd Tripp said, “the Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life”. This is stated in several scriptures, one such is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”. He goes on to say later, “What your children say and do is a reflection of what is in their hearts”.

These are things that I know, yet I don’t try many times for my children’s sake to actual change their hearts, I try and change their behavior. I am too busy or too tired or insert whatever here that has either been interrupted or changed that me as a mother did not want to be changed or interrupted. Therefore, I snap or yell at them to change what they are doing and tell them to never do it again.

Do you know the hardest thing for me as a mother has been? To sacrifice what I want. My calling is my family right here, right now. My children need me to sit down with them each time they disobey and seek out the attitude of their heart. I liked this line, “Your concern is to unmask your child’s sin, helping him to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed.” Do you know what this opens up? More opportunities to talk to your children about God.

Sacrificing what I want means for me to stop whatever I am doing at the moment and see to my child’s heart. God is working on my heart so that I may work on theirs. Thank you Lord.

Please join me and others each week as we post about our journeys through shepherding our children’s hearts@ Amanda’s blog.