Mimi Rothschild Brings you "Five Ways to Make Your Homeschool a Success"
Wednesday, 5 May 2010 12:44
Mimi Rothschild Brings you “Five Ways to Make Your Homeschool a Success”
Author: Lily Ann
These five factors make a big difference in any homeschool. Some times the most important things are the simplest and they tend to be overlooked
#1 – Be Positive. I cannot stress this enough. Smile. Let the child know you are happy for every improvement no matter how small. Give suggestions in a positive tone. The child will pick up your attitude quickly. If you’re having fun your child will have fun too. Even if everything goes wrong, which it will at first, if you stay calm everything will smooth out.
#2 – Be organized. Start on time. End on time. Stay focused. If it’s school time, it’s school time. Even if you can only get in three hours a day, make those three hours count. Do those same three hours every day. Have a designated place to do school work. School stays at school. Don’t scatter it all over the house.
Have an opening routine. Look at the date. Mark the calendar. Count the day. Sing a song. Write a memory gem on the board. What ever opening routine you choose stick to it. The same with the closing routine. Put away books. Clean up area. Review successes. What ever the routine, this marks the end of school.
#3 – Be creative. Make up games activities. Younger children can be entertained by very simple means. Use resources to give you ideas.
#4 – Be simple. Don’t spoil them with a lot of expensive games, fancy pencils, flashy note books, etc. While all the flashy stuff will make school seem fun for that day, the next day it’ll all be old. Let it be a once in a while surprise to brighten up the school experience rather than the purpose of school.
#5 – Let the child’s interest be your guide. That doesn’t mean forget math because your son hates it. But if he’s just not interested, try a different teaching strategy. This is where your creativity comes in.
Take clues from the kind of questions he asks. If he wants to know why there is a arrow after 100 on the number line, take the time to explain that numbers go on forever. Tell a story about how we use numbers. If he loses interest, go on to something else.
Lily Ann is a mother to six bright children. She has enjoyed great success in the area of homeschooling. She is always looking for ways to improve and loves to learn new things.
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "Enjoy the Advantages of Homeschooling: More Family Time"
Tuesday, 4 May 2010 17:56
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “Enjoy the Advantages of Homeschooling: More Family Time”
Author: Randall/Karen Webster
Homeschooling is an education option that is widely debated by comparing and contrasting it to public school. There are always two sides to every story, and there are many topics that always seem to come up in these discussions. This article will focus on one of the popular topics, by sharing our family’s experience as it relates to it. We hope to address more in future articles.
Debunking the Myth: Homeschooling takes a lot of time
The public schools where we live begin around 8:00 am and let out around 3:00 pm. That is 7 hours each day that the child is away from home and in the public school building. When you add the time to get to and from school its closer to 8 to 9 hours per day. This is equivalent to someone working full time. Plus the kids we know that attend public schools have homework nearly every night. This adds another hour. Then there are the extra-curricular activities that they may choose to stay late to participate in.
Our experience has been that we spend an increasing amount of time on “school” as the child gets older. One hour per day is plenty for kindergarten, two hours per day for 1st through 4th grade and about four to six hours for junior high and high school grades. This includes all homework and research papers, etc.
Our kids have done well on the standardized tests and their annual evaluations with this approach. So I’m confident that we covered everything required and more. This has allowed time for other priorities like household chores, helping with the family business, helping a friend and free time.
Homeschooling does not require as much time for the student as the public education system requires. Then there is the teacher or parent’s perspective. As homeschool parent you will need to spend the times listed above with your child daily plus about another 30-60 minutes per day to prepare, review, plan, etc. When you have clear goals and work together, it doesn’t need to take that much time. Once you get through a grade with one child it gets even less time consuming with the next.
Randall & Karen Webster have been homeschooling their 5 children for over 10 years. They offer advice and encouragement through a Free 5-part Mini-Course at Frustration Free Homeschool.
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "Isaac He trusted God for Everything"
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 12:05
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “Isaac He trusted God for Everything”
by Henry Jaegers
HE TRUSTED GOD
Compared to other Bible characters, Isaac’s life was quiet. His faith was real but t was not full of exciting events like Noah and Abraham. Even though his life was quiet, it still contained many lessons that would be helpful to us.
Just think of what it may have been like to be Abraham’s son. Imagine some of the great stories about God’s providing for and blessing him. Abraham probably shared some of his mistakes as well as adventures and Isaac must have learned much about how faith worked. He shared with him the many promises that God made and how God always kept them. It is important to remember that our faith always rests on God’s keeping His promises. The whole life of Abraham was about how faithful God was. We can be certain that Isaac believed that as well.
Back in those days there were no radios or televisions (or computers) to give us information so the family gathered and talked and shared life stories. It was the main source of education as well. Just think of what it is like to hear our parents talk about how good God is and how He always came through when they were in need. Abraham’s faith influenced Isaac as we will see as our story continues. Think about your parents telling what happened when you were little and growing up. They told you about something interesting that you did. That is what Isaac experienced as a child, hearing his father Abraham telling these wonderful stories that were true.
But hearing stories about someone else’s faith is not the same as seeing God work in your own life. Isaac had to come to the place where he had to have his own experience of faith.
We mentioned that altars were a reminder of God’s faithfulness to Abraham, now Isaac was going to have some altars of his own to remember. The next part of our lesson talks about an important altar that Isaac would later remember as the most important one in his life.
One day Isaac went with Abraham to a top of a mountain to offer to God a sacrifice. He helped his father gather wood and to build a stone altar. As he looked around a question came into his mind. “Father, look we have wood and an altar but where is the animal we are to place on the altar?” Isaac did not know that God had spoken to Abraham before and told him that he was to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham knew what was to happen but Isaac didn’t. Imagine his surprise when he saw his father carefully laying him on the stack of wood and tying him there. What do you think Isaac must have thought? Maybe he said “father why are you doing this to me”? Abraham at the same time must have been saying “why do I have to do this.” But Abraham obeyed God once again and remembered that God said that he would bless Abraham through his son Isaac.
How far was Abraham willing to obey God? Abraham comforted Isaac by saying that “God will provide a lamb”. Later the bible tell us that Abraham believed that if his son died, God would raise Isaac from the dead. Just as Abraham was about to kill Isaac, God called out and told Him not to do so, and being true to his promise provided a ram to take Isaac’s place. That was Isaac’s first altar experience and one that he would remember for the rest of his life. He had an experience of a ram taking his place on the altar just like Jesus did for us when He died for our sins on the cross.
This was a test of Isaac’s faith as well as Abraham’s. Isaac was willing to trust God even when he didn’t understand why. Sometimes we need to be like Isaac. God has given our parents to us and sometimes they ask us to do that which seems unreasonable. Remember what we said in our first lesson, that no one cares more about us than our parents and we must learn to obey them even when we don’t understand their instructions. Faith is believing in God when nothing makes sense. Someday they will if we are patient and willing for God to show us why in His time.
We will study about Isaac’s son Jacob in our next story. Isaac was different from Jacob and Abraham in that he had only one wife. Perhaps we can say that he learned from Abraham’s mistake as well as Abraham did.. He made an effort to make certain that Isaac married the right person and we can say he stayed happily married for the rest of his life with Rebekah. Isaac was a quiet person and he showed his faith in practical ways. He did not hastily try to find someone to marry but left the choice of his life’s mate to God. Sometimes we get in a hurry and want something right away and when we do that we make wrong choices. Someday you like Isaac may have to wait for the right time and the right person to come along. It is important to leave our need for marriage in God’s hands. Isaac’s wife was both beautiful and faithful Faithfulness should be a a character quality that everyone should seek.
For many years, Isaac and Rebekah could have no children. It was not easy for older people to be without children. If you didn’t have children in those days, people thought that you were strange. (As if it was your fault.) Once again God had promised that Isaac would have children so they waited for God to act. Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah and they did not have children until twenty years later. I know of married couples who for years could not have children. They decided to adopt and when they did they had three more children of their own. I’m sure that they learned a lesson on how God works. Isaac waited for God’s time and finally the day came when Rebekah gave birth to twin boys.
Isaac had his weaknesses. A similar experience happened to him like that of Abraham. Because there was famine in the land, Isaac headed to a place called Gerar, where there was food and water. Does this story sound familiar? He came before king Abimelech and told him that Rebekah was his sister. You would think that he would have learned from Abraham’s mistake, but we often learn the best lessons from our own mistakes. Once again God stepped in and kept Isaac from harm.
God blessed Isaac with great riches. Sometimes being rich isn’t that great because it often has many temptations that come with it. Isaac’s riches caused him to be generous, and did not leave him selfish. Five times he dug wells of water and each time someone came and took them away from Him. He never fought to get them back or blamed them for being mean. He just let them have it and moved on to dig another one. Isaac became an experienced well digger, but well digging was not the purpose God had in mind for him. Often, God uses our talents to be a blessing to others. Isaac was a good example to us of what it means to be unselfish. Isaac realized that what he had was from God . He had no problem with sharing them with others. When we take the attitude that God owns all that we have and it is His, giving it away becomes no problem.
People took advantage of Isaac’s generosity, like they do to everyone else. Even when he was old and could no longer see, his wife and son took advantage of him to get something for themselves. Isaac was big enough to accept the tricks that they played and forgave them later. Isaac and Rebekah waited 20 years to have their children. Isaac learned how to wait on God and God never failed to provide for His every need.
He will do that for you as well when you place your trust in Him. Proverbs 3: 5,6 is a good verse to memorize.
“Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and He shall direct your paths.”
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "CHILDREN: ARROW IN THE HANDS OF THE MIGHTY"
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 18:33
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “CHILDREN: ARROW IN THE HANDS OF THE MIGHTY”
by Akinbowale Isaac Adewumi
CHILDREN: ARROW IN THE HANDS OF THE MIGHTY
“Lo children are the heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward, as arrows are in the hands of a mighty man: so are children of the youth”(Psalm 127:3-4).
The cost of training God’s heritage is very high. But they are worth of the price. Besides, nothing worth having come cheap. To raise up children properly, we require the very best that we can give of our time, efforts, and resources. This is not a simple job at all. Yet, there is nothing as rewarding for a parent as watching the little child of yesterday begin to grow, learn, love and blossom to become a responsible, godly, man or woman. When a child is able to blend well, he becomes an asset, a praise to his family and a powerful weapon in the hands of both God and man. This is both rewarding here on earth and eternity. God testified of Abraham thus: ”For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him”(Genesis 18:19). My Christian parents and preachers, how about you? What is going to be the Lord’s testimony about you and your household?
1. GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN CHILD TRAINING
Romans 2:21; Proverbs 22:6; Isaiah 54:13.
Child training is the God’s appointed and only method which can be reckoned upon with certainty to develop godly men and women. If you prune, subdue, eradicate the evil, and develop, strengthen, and encourage, the good, inspiring him with the love of the truth, holiness and benevolence, he will grow up a good godly and benevolent person.
Training up a child in the way of the Lord involves, teaching, giving instruction and discipline. Which must be appropriate to the development stages of the child for it has the desire result.
Teaching a child the word of God is of more value than giving them good education and earthly inheritance.
The parents’ exemplary life for the children at home is very importance in child training. The time spends with them on daily quiet time and family devotion, Bible reading and Bible study, prayer life daily Christian living should be worthy of emulation. Most importantly, our practical Christian living must be pointing them daily to the saving Jesus more than our sermons. Hear what a preacher says, “if you want a garden of good fruits, get the trees young”. “Today’s unchurched child is tomorrow’s criminal”
2. DISCIPLING YOUR CHILDREN
Proverbs 13:24; 22:6
“He that spareth his rod hateth the son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes”(Proverbs 13:24).
Discipline must be viewed as having two functions; that of building up cherished habits in the child, and of modifying and changing habits.
Punishment may be necessary at any age, but if a parent or teacher must resort often to punishment, there is something wrong in his method of discipline. Reward and substitution are the two most effective means of securing desirable behaviour
3. TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE
(1) . Consider the differences in guidance and control
(2) Remember to commend the child for desirable behaviour.
(3) Be sure to explain instructions and demands properly to the child. Do not give vague information.
(4) When he flagrantly disobeys, discipline him.
(5) Give punishment commensurate to offence.
(6) Avoid anger in corporate punishment.
(7) Match discipline with the age of the child.
(8) Reassure the child of your love after punishment.
(9) Rewarding the child to stop him from misbehaviour is destructive to discipline.
(10) Avoid using false incentives,
(11) Treat all children equally.
(12) Optimism does wonders. Nothing helps as much as seing the bright side of life, therefore, hope for the better.
“The well mannered child is his parents’ best advertisement” say Meridoth Nicholson
“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13)
Akinbowale Isaac Adewumi
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "A Mother’s Battle"
Thursday, 22 April 2010 09:54
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “A Mother’s Battle”
By: Lara Velez
The tongue is such a tiny little organ. Yet, it can be one of the most powerful weapons
James 3 has a lot to say about the tongue…
I suggest that you read the entire chapter. (It’s very short)…
Anyway, verse 6 says; And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body…
Whew, those are some strong words…but, wait, that’s not all. Proverbs 18:21 tells us; Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it for death or life. It is scary to think that my mouth has that much power.
As Christian Mothers we have a great call on our lives to train our children up…Are we speaking life to them? If not, it is never too late with God. He makes all things new.
I know that in my own life…I do not always choose my words wisely. I get angry and say stupid things. Do you?
Proverbs 29:11 says; A self confident fool utters all of his anger, but a wise man holds it back and stills it. The original Hebrew word for “utters” is ruwach (roo’vakh). It means a violent exhalation, anger, unsubstantiability, blast, and whirlwind.
That means, when we lose our temper and spew out our anger…it’s like what a hurricane does when it hits land. It destroys everything in its path. I don’t know about you, but I can have some pretty nasty storms come out of my mouth at times…
Ephesians 4:26 says; When angry do not sin; do not let your wrath last until the sun goes down. This tells me that it’s OK to get angry…it’s normal. We don’t have to walk around holding everything in. We do however, have to express our anger without yelling, cursing, violence, name calling, etc. That is where the anger becomes sin. How do we accomplish getting angry without sinning?
Well, before we can learn that, we must explore the subject of anger more deeply.
There are two types of anger mentioned in the Bible; justifiable and unjustifiable. Here are some examples of both:
Cain – in Genesis 4:5-6: His anger came from not getting praise and approval that he felt was deserved. He thought too highly of himself and, was filled with jealousy.
Jonah – in Jonah 4:1-9: His anger came from rebellion. First, he ran from doing what God told him to do. Then, when he finally did, he had distain and apathy towards the people that he was called to minister to. He thought too highly of himself and lacked pity.
The Sadducees – in Acts 5:17: They were filled with jealousy, indignation, and rage. Why? Because, the Apostles were held in high regard, for the signs and wonders God gave them the power to perform.
Moses – in Exodus 32:19: Moses was up on the mountain pleading with God, not to destroy the Israelites. And, there down below building a golden calf to worship. When he came down and saw their disobedience, he got very angry…and burned it!
Samuel – in I Samuel 15:16-31: Samuel was angry with Saul because, he had disobeyed the Lord. He had become rebellious and stubborn. Samuel then told Saul that God had rejected him as king…high price for disobedience.
Jesus – in Mark 3:5: Jesus became angry with the Pharisees because, of the hardening of their hearts. He was going to heal a man on the Sabbath. They had a religious spirit.
When I looked at these examples, it became clear to me what sinful anger is…
Cain wanted praise for himself. Jonah was a snob. He looked down on others who didn’t perform the way he thought that they should. And, the Sadducees were jealous because they wanted to have the admiration and respect of the people.
What do they all have in common? They all had a selfish, self-centered anger.
On the other hand, Moses got angry at the lack of faith and the disobedience to God’s ways. Samuel was angry for the exact same thing. And, guess what? Jesus was too! They all had a righteous anger. Anger at sin and disobedience.
Now, we will look at a couple of examples of unjustifiable anger…. how it begins…and how to counteract it.
(I have left out justifiable anger, because, we just learned that justifiable anger has to do with a righteous indignation at sin. None of the examples are rage filled.)
Your child spills a drink for the twentieth time, on the carpet that you just cleaned from the last spill. Grrrr. You explode. You begin a full verbal attack with questions the child is unable to answer, and comments that will leave them in tears. This is selfish anger. It is about you. Who cares about a rug, tablecloth, or broken dish? Are they going with you when you go to Heaven?
In this example you need to stop…bite your tongue…and leave the room. Take a deep breath, and think; “OK, this is my beloved child. God gave me this child to love and care for. I must show grace…after all, God has shown me more Grace than I could ever deserve. I love this child. I love my child. Thank you Lord, for this wonderful and precious child.”
I know what your thinking. “Yeah, right!” What you need to understand is that you must train yourself to do this…write it down, and keep it near by. Pull it out when you feel the anger building up inside. If you continue to do this over and over again, it will become your natural response…instead of an outburst of anger.
Your husband comes home from work and plops down in front of the television. He puts on some program that he enjoys
(or in my case plays Nintendo;). Grrrr. You begin to think: “Doesn’t he know how hard I work to keep this house clean and take care of his kids?” “I wish I could just plop down on the couch…but, noooo, I can’t even go to the bathroom without an audience!” You blow up. Look out…here comes Hurricane Mom!
As you can plainly see in this example, you have thought your way right into a melt down. Does any of this sound familiar? I’m sure you can think of some of your own examples. In a situation like this, it would be a good time to start thinking about how thankful you are to have a husband that goes out and works, so that you can stay home (if you’re a stay at home Mom)…or how you love his smile, laugh, whatever. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE!
Any time that we feel rage, for any reason, we need to think about what we’re thinking about. The Word says in
Colossians 3:2 – …set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on the earth. In verse 13 of the same chapter it says; Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference, a grievance, or a complaint against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so you must also forgive. I encourage you to read the whole chapter. It is very good.
“But, I cant do all this!” you say. Yes, you can! You have the Mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16). “How” you ask. The Word tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). You must get into the Word…and, study the Word. That is the only way that you can renew your mind.
Can you see how the mind affects the tongue? First, it becomes a thought. Then, we allow that thought to pour out of us, and…BOOM! The mind is the root of most of our fears, low self esteem, some forms of depression, doubt…it all starts in the mind…then we speak it into existence. Renew your mind!
Please, understand that if you truly want to gain victory in your life, and you begin to pursue it, the enemy WILL attack! When he does…you must go straight to the Word. Fill your mind with Truth. And, when you fail, don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up, and press on!
Here are some Weapons to get you started:
II Chronicles 7:14
I hope that these Scriptures are helpful to you in the battle of your mind and mouth. As you study the Word for yourself…you will find more. Write them down. Keep them with you. Memorize them. I know that you and I can overcome this battle!
If you need prayer, please feel free to contact me any time. I will stand in prayer with you. Simply fill out a prayer request at this address; http://www.momsoffaith.com/prayerrequests.html
God Bless You!
Note: All Scripture references were from the Amplified Translation
About the Author: Lara Velez is a Christian Homeschooling Mother of two. She owns two websites. Moms of Faith – a community of Christian Moms who love the Lord, support each other, and pray for one another. Here you will find valuable resources for Homeschoolers, WAHM’s, New Moms, and much more! Visit today! http://www.momsoffaith.com
She also owns, The Recipe Finder – an Online cooking and recipe magazine. http://www.therecipefinder.com
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "Homeschool versus Public School"
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 15:34
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “Homeschool versus Public School”
by Lena Mabra
I grew up raising my sisters and brother since Mom left us with an alcoholic father. As a young girl, there were many times I’d pour water into Dad’s Vodka bottles in the attempt to keep him somewhat sober. I can also recall sneaking into Dad’s checkbook to pay the bills so the utilities wouldn’t be shut off.
It was the ultimate miracle when God took me from my world of utter darkness into His world of brilliant light! Through the midst of it all, I was led into salvation and accepted His love and forgiveness in my later teen years.
Spending most of my past as a child adult, I was oblivious to the world around me as I struggled just to get by one day at a time. So ignorant was I that I barely even knew that in order to attend college, a person had to PAY or makes some sort of financial arrangement. I assumed it was “free”, like going to high school.
God opened the door for me to attend a private Christian university by providing most of the funding through scholarships, grants, and work study.
It was my last semester in college when I discovered that I was pregnant. With the
stress of full-time college hours, work study, and poor eating habits (due to my background issues, I had developed full-blown bulemia), my health suffered tremendously as my body fought to nurture the child that I was carrying. I was
in such a state that my hair was falling out in clumps and my fingernails were coming out of their nailbeds!
Reluctantly, my husband and I made the choice for him to finish college, since he would be the breadwinner. Not only was I so ill but we were beyond poverty and my financial funding had run out yet his education was being compensated
by the military since he joined the Army National Guard to provide income and medical insurance for the delivery and care of our new baby.
When my oldest was eight, God called me to homeschool. The timing could not have been worse. I was working fifty plus hours per week, nine months pregnant, and physically, mentally, and financially, homeschooling would be impossible! Let’s not forget all the issues regarding homeschool versus public school. I didn’t want to be the controversial one. I didn’t want my kids to be in the middle of such scrutiny. I didn’t want to be different! Why couldn’t God just leave me alone and pick on someone else??
Feeling like Sarah in the Bible upon hearing that she would bear a son in her old age, I laughed at God and told Him of the 1001 things that would have to occur in order for me to homeschool.
Three years later, God not only fulfilled my dream of homeschooling but He provided a way for me to finish the last semester that I did not complete in college! Eight years later I was going back to get my degree!
This time, I did not attend a Christian university but a state college. I was
devastated when my childcare situation fell through. By now I had three children all
under the age of eight and we went from babysitter to babysitter. For one reason or another, I had no childcare.
Praying for a solution, I still struggled with the impossibility of the situation. There was no doubt that homeschooling was God’s will. Many thoughts jumbled in my head. Taking classes at night and homeschooling during the day was an option but many times, my husband worked into the evenings.
Just when I was about to give up the dream of completing my degree, God whispered to me, “Ask your professors if you can bring the children into class and they can do their homeschool while you finish your degree.”
REALLY feeling like Sarah in the Old Testament this time, I laughed at how absolutely impossible this would be. To HOMESCHOOL my kids in a PUBLIC school, a state-funded college. Talk about all the controversy, criticism, and maybe even investigations this will involve! I’ve read about all those homeschooling versus public schooling battles. I didn’t need any more issues in my life especially not legal issues! God must be out of his mind!
Well, now looking back at it all, I have to say in amazement that only God could have softened the hearts of the professors to let my children come to class. Only God could have taught my children as they worked so intently on their homeschool for two straight hours while I concentrated on my lessons. Only God could have babysat my one-year-old as she played quietly in her stroller. And only God could have calmed the battles of homeschooling versus public schooling.
Mimi Rothschild Brings You "31 Ways to Bless Your Kids Part 1"
Tuesday, 20 April 2010 15:11
Mimi Rothschild Brings You “31 Ways to Bless Your Kids Part 1″
by Tonja Taylor
Let’s see–31 divided by 4 is….7 and 3/4, right? Something like that. How about the subtitle, “7 Ways to Bless Your Kids for Today?” We’ll make up the rest at the end. When you finish all four parts of “31 Ways to Bless Your Kids,” you’ll have a suggested blessing to give them for every day of the month (and on the months with just 28 or 30 days, you can double up! And for now, you’ll have a way to bless your kids at least once a day (to add to the ways you already bless them!).
1. REALLY listen to them.
I’ve noticed that, when I take a few minutes to sit down–like, in the car, at the breakfast table (rare; usually I eat standing up, while I make lunches or something. Forgive me, LORD, for being selfish!), or at night before (or after) we kneel by her bed to pray, my 10-year-old daughter starts talking about stuff that SEEMS to not apply. But I’ve discovered that, to her, everything applies. She wants to continue that sweet communication, and LORD forgive me; I have not deliberately taken more time for tete-a-tete’s, or “face time” with her. And, after my personal ministry to Jesus, then my husband, my daughter IS my main ministry!
And, from the time my daughter was very small, and especially the almost seven years while I was a single mom, those conversations very often turned into teaching sessions! A ‘normal’ conversation would be transformed by the LORD into a spiritual truth or truths that would make us both all excited about the wonders and power of His Kingdom all over again! I love the way God works! And, those times are often when the most precious spiritual seeds are planted. Don’t be surprised if you harvest a delightful repetition from your kids from wisdom taught them during those special times!
(I’ve also taught many, many classes of children, and worked in a daycare, and it’s a bit harder to listen to more than one child at a time, but God gives grace!)
2. Make up silly songs with them.
My daughter wrinkles her nose when I sing a certain song, (“It’s so fun to be clean, clean, clean!”–one day, we’ll finish the song, maybe) after she’s taken her bath, but I know she loves it. In fact, she loves it so much that she makes a point to TELL me, “and please don’t sing that song!” and of course I do and she wrinkles her nose and we giggle and it’s all good.
3. Have tickle sessions.
Maybe some kids under the age of 10 would prefer not to be tickled. I know a lot of kids, and, although I have not tried to tickle all of them, I bet they love it. Anyway, mine does. She used to be a tiny baby in the middle of the bed. Now, she’s a tall 10, and she stretches the length of it. (It’s not a king, but in Christ, we are.)
Although our tickles now are wilder and sometimes we put blankets on the floor and push the furniture back so we’ll have more leg room (literally!), she still loves it. I take off all jewelry (including my wedding rings. That and cleaning them or protecting them from chemicals are the ONLY times they are off!) and we pull our hair back and have fun. It’s great, even though it may last only a few minutes, and sometimes it turns into dramas (which often involve her dolls or stuffed animals or figures she’s created out of clay or something) or even patty-cake sessions (the lyrics are more sophisticated these days…..I’ve had to gently point out that a few of them were not the wisest things to repeat. And my daughter has listened to me because we were face to face. She also has listened because I have always told her the truth. Which brings me to the next big point….).
4.Always tell them the truth.
Although the LORD knows the age and time when little souls can handle certain heavy truths, the spirit is ageless and unhindered. That is why children can understand the Gospel at such early ages. For instance, Kenneth Copeland’s son, John, was saved at age 3 1/2, after hearing his father preach to him for an hour and a half, in their home*. My daughter Victoria was saved at age 5 in Tulsa, as she and I sat at the dinner table, just the two of us, and talked about Jesus. But many, many spiritual Truth-seeds had been planted in her since she was in my womb, and the beginning of the major harvest from all those seeds happened that night!
Pray first, of course, for God to give you the timing and the words whenever you believe the need comes up to talk about serious subjects. After being angry at being deceived for years about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I vowed years before I became pregnant that I would never pretend to my daughter that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny existed (besides as a Christian who truly loves God, I believe there is far too much emphasis on these worldly things than the glorious truths of Jesus’ birth and resurrection!), and I never have. This has not pleased the ex-husband, who is the father of my child, nor grandparents and such. I respect them and honor them unless their opinions go against the truth I know, live, and am determined to pass on.
I have checked often with the LORD to see if I was “being too real” with my daughter. Guess what? Although He’s convicted me about much over the years, He’s never convicted me that I have or intend to tell her too much truth! . I know that, when it’s all over, no one (not even the husband I married 18 months ago that God truly sent) will be standing with me to answer to the LORD for how I have raised my daughter. So, when it comes down to it, the opinions of others don’t matter.
What matters is the world is not getting any better and our kids must be equipped with the truth. There is enough deception in this world and my daughter will hear only the truth from me. This involves everything from the dangers of magic, to dressing modestly, to understanding the relationship between husband and wife (I asked the LORD a couple years ago for perfect timing and words for this special moment and it was beautiful the way He worked it out! Just trust Him!) to not gossiping or judging, to the importance of praying, to……Am I preaching again?? (You get the point.)
5. Ask them to read Scriptures and other faith-building material to you.
Young readers usually love to hear themselves read and are eager for others to listen. Or maybe it’s just my daughter that loves to read to me. Regardless (as opposed to the non-word irregardless!), I often ask my darling girl to read me something. Of course, she volunteers as often. I love it. And I almost always learn something!
Being a lover of the Truth, of course, I usually pick something such as Psalm 34 (she’s read it to me a few times and I’ve almost got it memorized) or articles from a true Christian website and ask her to read them to me. Just last night on the way to our “girls’ night out (cause my husband is at worship practice), I asked her to read an article about the power of blessing the Name of the LORD, and although she asked at the beginning if she could just read the first page (yes), she liked it so much that she read the other page too. And we were both blessed! (just another unapparent way of planting more spiritual seeds in my little one. I love the witty ideas God gives me!)
6. Ask them to help YOU memorize verses.
Almost every day, we take one of our Scripture cards (you don’t have to buy some–get in the Word and write them out on notecards or scraps of paper) and learn it together. We’ve been doing this at least a couple years. We go over the verse together in the morning, and I put the card in her lunch. (We go over verses every day, even during the summer. Just because it’s summer and schoolwork stops never means learning the Word should stop!)
At school, Victoria would look at the verse and sometimes share it with friends, which was very important, especially because she went to public school till just last year. Then at the end of the day, we’d go over the verse again. And we still work that way. If she knows the verse, she gets a star and when she gets 12 stars, she gets a small gift from me from the dollar store or something (We have a bigger chart for outstanding behavior, that is above the usual obedience and sweet attitude we expect. More on that next time.) didn’t have it all memorized, we’d go over it the next day and so on until she really knew it. I make a point to truly learn with her, so we’ve both lengthened the blade of our Swords!
7. Ask them to teach you something they know how to do–or think they know how to do.
Last year at her Christian Academy, my daughter started learning to play the recorder and speak Latin. Although I can play the piano, I’d never played the recorder. I just bragged on my little one after she played the first song she’d learned, and this gleam came into her eyes, and she said, “Mama! Let me teach you to play this!” So we grabbed the other recorder my husband (a former band director and now multi-talented worship leader) had purchased, and sat on the bed. In just five minutes, my darling girl had actually taught me to play! And it was fascinating to hear her voice and face change (She actually looked and sounded more mature, as she took on the “teacher” role!) as she delighted in creating new channels of learning in my brain!
So we’ve done the same with Latin. Praise the LORD, my multi-talented husband has studied several languages and was eager to help her learn, cause it took me time to get into it. But I’ve actually learned several words while helping Victoria review! And, since she’ll continue her study of the language (Latin is NOT dead–it lives on in many English words!) the next eight years of school (unless God has other plans!), I will continue to learn with her. Currently, we’re learning The LORD’s Prayer in Latin. Totally cool!
May you find great joy and satisfaction as you utilize any or all of these ways to bless your children. Look for at least 7 3/4 more ways to do that in Part Two.
*from “The Spirit of Faith” CD set by Kenneth Copeland, www.kcm.org
Tips for Test Taking
Monday, 6 April 2009 08:39
-by Mimi Rothschild
Not every state requires that home schooled children be tested, so maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t fall under a mandate. However, if you happen to live in a state that does require it, you know how intense, stressful and overwhelming it can be for your children.
The process of state mandated testing can be a daunting one, often for hours on end, so here are a few suggestions to make the experience a smoother one for everyone involved.
Lighten their workload. Realize that studying and preparing for an exam can be exhausting. You might want to lighten their workload a little the day before and the day following the test or even forgo it altogether. Overwhelming them with too much additional schoolwork can be detrimental to their success.
Try not to stress them out. We all know that technically, state testing is really a test of our abilities to adequately teach our children. That alone can cause us to feel anxious, because how they do is a direct reflection of our own abilities as an educator. It is extremely important that you never project your own stress or concerns onto your students. Remember that they have their own nerves to deal with, so keep yours to yourself.
Be sure they are well rested. A good night’s sleep the night before is critical to having a clear mind and being ready to concentrate during an exam.
Make sure they are prepared. Feed your child a healthy breakfast the morning of the test, and make sure that all required materials are on hand before he embarks on the test. For example, arm him with two or three sharpened number 2 pencils and ample scrap paper if that’s what the exam calls for.
Remind them of one thing: to do their best. After all, what more can we ask of them?
Take frequent breaks. Every hour or so, let them get up and walk around, or have a snack to avoid fatigue and help them recharge their batteries.
Resist the urge to look over your student’s shoulder while they are testing. Being timed while taking a difficult exam can be stressful enough as it is. Putting added pressure on your student may actually cause them to do poorly, and you certainly don’t want that.
After the test is done, allow your child to decompress. Head out shopping or get an ice cream sundae to celebrate that it’s all over. Shift their focus. There’s no reason to dwell on the results, since they often take several weeks to arrive. In the meantime, try to relax and return to business as usual.
Lastly, when the results do arrive, try to view them as a tool for your child’s success. Focus more on the positive, and use any negative results as an opportunity to view areas that you may want to spend a little extra time on. Most likely, however, the results will come as little or no surprise to you and your student.
State mandated testing can be a difficult and daunting task, but remember that it is what you make of it. If you are able to make it into a positive experience by not letting it stress your students out, and by implementing some of the tips provided above, you will likely find that it’s really not all that bad and it will be over before you know it.
Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of LearningByGrace.org the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.
Parent/Teacher Conferences in the Home School
Monday, 23 March 2009 08:38
-by Mimi Rothschild
There are countless differences between traditional school and home school, many of which we as home educators feel blessed not to have to participate in. However, one difference which can actually prove to be quite beneficial to the home school family is the parent/teacher conference.
It might sound somewhat silly to suggest such a thing, since we are both parent and teacher to our children. But as with anything else in the world of home school, a slight variation of a traditional idea can be implemented to fit our unique circumstances. Perhaps instead we should call the concept parent/teacher/student conferences.
There is value in feedback. After all, do we as Christians not continuously seek feedback from our Heavenly Father? We read His Word, we pray, we seek His counsel. This theory can be also applied to the home school household in several ways.
Most home education is facilitated by one parent, while the other parent works outside the home to provide financially for the family. For the parent who is home teaching, it is often easy to forget to keep her spouse in the loop on what is happening while they are at work all day. Here is where the parent/teacher portion of the meeting comes into play.
Schedule a time to meet, perhaps once a week or once a month, to sit down together. Do so alone, when the children are occupied or visiting with friends. Discuss the lesson plans you are currently covering, the progress of each child, and provide some examples of recent work that your children have completed. It’s beneficial for the teaching parent to receive support and feedback from her spouse, and likewise it’s important that the parent who works outside the home be abreast of the progress of his children. This is also an excellent time to discuss any issues or challenges that the children are facing, and brainstorm ideas on how to address them. And it’s always a blessing for spouses to fellowship with each other.
Next set up some time, probably less frequently, to sit your students down and talk about their progress. Give them positive feedback and constructive criticism, and help them to see their strengths as well as areas that could use a bit more attention and work. Holding these meetings with the working parent present is also a wonderful way to present a united front to the children, which is invaluable in child rearing.
Finally, remember to spend some one on one time with each student from time to time. Talk about your feelings on their effort and improvement, and let them know areas that you would like them to continue working on. Children thrive on individual attention, so use this to your benefit. And don’t forget to ask them for some feedback on you as well. Remember, we can’t grow and improve if we do not know where our weaknesses lie.
Meeting together in the role of parent/teacher/children keeps the channels of communication open, which will inevitably benefit everyone involved.
Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of LearningByGrace.org the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.
Avoiding Home School Burnout
Friday, 13 March 2009 15:31
-by Mimi Rothschild
There is no argument that home school is a rewarding experience, both for us as educators and our children as students. However, as with most rewards, there are certain sacrifices that are made and challenges to be met. Couple these sacrifices and challenges with the fact that home school families are often held to a much higher standard than traditional ones, and we can often experience what’s known as “home school burnout”.
While the pressures of the outside world will never cease, there are certainly things that you can do to avoid home school burnout and stay on track.
- Recognize and embrace your family’s uniqueness. Every family is different, so it is important that you realize that the dynamic of your family might be staunchly different than that of other families you know, even ones that home school. As long as you focus on what works for your family, you will be more likely to stay on track and keep the pace that works best for you. Trying to mold yourself after others will never work, and you will quickly grow tired.
- Don’t allow comparisons. Similar to the point just mentioned, it is critical to the success of your family to find your own system of doing things so that you and your children are productive and content. If you strive to model another family you view as successful, you might just find yourself falling short, and feeling frustrated in the end.
- Don’t overdo it. Taking on too much is never a good idea, so pace yourself. Understand that there may be days that you just can’t get to everything, and try not to let it bother you. Working at a pace that is comfortable for you and your students is more important, and in the long run, it will be reflected in their productivity and success.
- Acknowledge your family’s circumstances. How many children do you have? Does your husband travel for work, or is he available to help you in teaching some of their lessons? Each family’s situation is different therefore you must consider these things and work around them. If you don’t, you’re sure to quickly run out of steam and that’s not good for anyone.
- Pray. Pray. Pray some more. God should be at the center of our family dynamic, and the focus of hearts in everything we do. Seeking guidance, wisdom, support and compassion from Him will make all the difference in the world and help you to avoid the pitfalls of home school burnout.
Above all, be aware. If you recognize that you or your children are getting overwhelmed, address it immediately so it doesn’t get out of hand.
Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of LearningByGrace.org the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.