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Glen Burnie, Maryland
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|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine|
March 6, 2013
I Want to Give Up (But I Won't!)
Deborah Wuehler and family
Before you say, "I Quit!" I want to encourage you to think otherwise. Let me just say that there is probably at least one day a month or more that I want to say, "I Quit!" to something in my life, whether it be teaching, cleaning, cooking, transporting, or disciplining a child. We all share the same thoughts and feelings. I think those feelings stem from a lack of peace. Because of the difficult, mundane, or tiring circumstances in our life, we lose our peace, and therefore feel that if we quit, we will find that peace. But, peace won't magically come in a change of circumstance. However, I know just the place to find it! Here is what the living Word of God says:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:3,4).
- Our MINDS need to be stayed: focused, kept, and continued on HIM. Take your mind off your circumstances and put it on HIM. Magnify HIM and not your difficulty.
- Our minds are able to stay on HIM because we TRUST in HIM. Do not trust in what you see or feel. Trust in your God forever--He is the only unchanging thing in your life!
- In HIM is everlasting strength! Tired, weary, discouraged? You need strength and you don't have it in yourself. In the Lord alone is everlasting strength.
Think about and memorize that Scripture in Isaiah and start putting it into practice, and you will find peace. Don't put more things into practice until you put this into practice. In other words, don't try to find solutions to your problems until you find peace in HIM. Let me encourage you with 25 reasons to not give up:
25 Reasons Not To Give Up
- God's grace is sufficient.
- God gives us everything we need for life and godliness.
- God's mercy endures forever.
- It is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
- Our children need Godly parent mentors and teachers.
- Our children need their questions answered from a biblical worldview.
- Our children need and are permitted room to grow and time for creativity.
- Our children need and receive Godly socialization.
- Our children learn to be unselfish and how to serve others.
- Our children retain their innocence.
- Our children will have a lasting legacy of love and commitment.
- Our children and our children's children will be spared worldly indoctrination.
- We know where our children are at all times.
- We know what our children are being taught at all times.
- We know who our children's friends are and we know their friends' parents.
- We retain our God-given right to educate our own children.
- Our children receive a superior education no matter what philosophy or curriculum.
- Homeschooled children receive one-on-one attention and specialized training.
- Homeschooled children can see and experience the world around them regularly.
- Homeschooling permits the teaching of important life skills.
- Homeschooling builds strong character and strong relationships.
- Our children will not have to walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
- Our children will not have to stand in the path of sinners.
- Our delight will be in the law of the Lord and everything we do will prosper.
- Our God never gives up and He gives us His strength to continue the journey.
Still want to quit? Here is an encouraging article called, Before You Say, "I Quit!"
Hanging onto my Great God with you,
TOS Senior Editor
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One of my favorite Scriptures about not giving up is Isaiah 43:1-3:
" . . . Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior . . . "
I don't know what goes through your mind when you read, but I usually see a scene playing out as I read the words. For many years, when I would read or think about those verses, I pictured myself on the banks of the river, with God parting the waters as He did for Moses long ago. After all, He promised I wouldn't get swept away, and I could think of no other way across.
More recently, however, I've had a change in my thinking. It struck me one day, as I thought about those verses, that there are two ways of getting across the river without being overtaken by it. God may decide to part the waters. But He may also decide to carry me across.
Picture it with me for a minute. The Lord Himself, carrying you in His powerful arms, across the river that you know you cannot get across on your own without drowning. He is in the rushing water with you. The waters and currents beat on Him as well as you, and you get wet. But you will not be overflowed because God Himself has you in His arms. And He will not let you go.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by the river that is swirling all around you, remember your place in His arms. Remember His promise to take you safely to the other side of whatever you face. Look to the Scriptures and recall everything He has promised you.
And remember, Schoolhouse Teachers.com is here to offer support and make the way across a bit easier too--with curriculum, worksheets, and more. During March, Malia Russell will provide powerful Home Economics lessons, sharing ways she has found to maintain her spiritual life and her walk with the Lord during times of transition. Join Malia on her journey to draw closer to the One who is carrying each of us.
Bonnie Rose Hudson
At the end of the busy school year, do you wish someone would take something off your very full plate? Let Classical Conversations help you with end-of-the-year testing. Give your students test-taking practice without adding to your workload. Click here to see test sites near you and register today. cctestingservices.com/
It doesn't concern me that every homeschool mom on the planet wants to give up and toss in the towel from time to time (that's perfectly normal). What concerns me is that some will . . . or that you might.
Not long ago my sister (who homeschools) was talking to my wife about being discouraged in homeschooling and the fact that so many of her homeschooling friends have quit.
"Oh, I believe in it," she said. "I just don't think I can do it well enough."
It saddens me that my little sister feels that way, and that she's been fed a bunch of lies that she believes.
It saddens me too, that you might be thinking the same thing. I can't say anything that will take away the feeling that you want to give up, but I will say, "DON'T act on that feeling, and DO what you believe is true . . . no matter what."
This is the truth:
- Home is the best place for your children!
- You are the best teacher for your children!
- Your children are individual masterpieces created by God.
- You can prepare them well enough for whatever their future holds!
Never give up!!!!!!!!!!
And of course, above all . . .
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You are facing extraordinary challenges, regardless of how easily your kids are learning their school work. Parenting itself is more demanding, more fraught with difficulties, than ever before
. . . and homeschooling adds layers of complexity, stress, and labor beyond that. Don't believe for a moment that this is easy for others and difficult only for you!!
So, having acknowledged that it's hard, what do we do? I suppose the answer depends on your goal, your end result, and your vision.
For me, I wanted relationship. At the end of the day, the end of schooling, and the end of life, I wanted an authentic, deeply loving relationship with my children, and I wanted them to have an authentic relationship with God. To reach that goal, we decided to take the unusual path of living our lives fully engaged with our kids--learning together, laughing together, working together, praying together, singing together, traveling together . . .
But, oh, there were times I wanted to quit!!!! When the money fizzled, the clutter exploded, the kids argued, the energy evaporated, and the sun disappeared, I was ready to throw in the towel . . . until I remembered why I was doing this. The term for continuing, even when you're overwhelmed, is perseverance.
Like a honey bee to flowers, I have been drawn to books which describe those who have had to persevere to accomplish their dreams. One particular book emphasized that the only reason the people profiled were extraordinarily successful was simply that they refused to give up!
Which, of course, leads me to Winston Churchill . . . you remember him, don't you? With a bulldog face, big cigar, and a Homburg hat, this Prime Minister was elected just as Britain faced the first onslaught of the Nazi war machine. Read what he said in June, 1940, less than a month from becoming Prime Minister--a time when many on both sides of the Atlantic doubted Great Britain could survive the month:
"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . ."
They made a plan that looked like this: "We will persevere. We know we will be attacked and it will be difficult, but we will not give up."
Even if you don't revel as I do in history, you know that Great Britain did survive. In fact, along with its allies, it won the war.
Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn't it?
Think about your goal, dear friend. What is it you want for your children? If homeschooling will get you there, then I encourage you to prayerfully persevere.
Remember, stay relational!
Two Great Homeschool Conventions! Don't Miss the SouthEast Homeschool Convention, March 14-16, 2013, Greenville, SC; and the MidWest Homeschool Convention, April 4-6, 2013, Cincinnati, OH. Encouraging and informative workshops! Huge exhibit hall! Amazing featured speakers! Comedian--Tim Hawkins! Abortion Survivor--Gianna Jessen! MidWest Only--Dr. Ron Paul!
Raising Real Men
Hal & Melanie Young
Melanie has a recurring dream that she is back in college, final exams are approaching, and suddenly she realizes with horror that she's been signed up for a class that she's forgotten to attend all semester! Thankfully, that never actually happened to her, but that kind of panic feels pretty familiar sometimes.
We've had a few really challenging years in our homeschool as our family faced cancer, a baby in ICU, starting a new business and ministry, and so many other trials that it sounds like bad fiction. There are days we've had that "What are we doing? What are we even supposed to be doing?" fear. Now, our children have always been homeschooled; it's a commitment we made before the first was even born, so we don't think, "Maybe we ought to put them back in school." There's no school in their past to go back to! That doesn't stop us from having doubts and anxieties, though, does it? So, what do you do when it seems everything is falling apart around you? Here are a few things we've learned along the way:
God's curriculum for our children is often different than ours and that's not just okay, it's good. We've had to simplify and let extras go in our schooling at times, but the character and life lessons our children have learned are amazing and humbling.
God will stand in the gap. We'll never forget the time we weren't able to prepare our son as much as we'd hoped for the state National Geographic Bee--the Henty novel he read the week before was set in the very location they asked him about. We have tons of stories like that.
Simplify your home and life. Fish sticks on paper plates won't kill you, and if they leave you the time to teach and disciple your children, be thankful for them. We try to eat healthy, too, but sometimes you just have to survive. After all, "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man" (Matthew 15:11 NKJV). In the same way, focus on getting the basics done in your school and add more as things get under control.
Suffering has purpose. Our trials have allowed us to reach so many hurting people because we've "been there." We're told to comfort one another in the way that we've been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4) and we've found this to be such a blessing. Trust that this time is for your good (and your children's!) and for His glory.
So, don't quit! Homeschooling is about so much more than school. As your children watch you in the fire of trials, they'll see your Christ just as when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). We wouldn't have chosen to go through the trials we have, and Melanie often wishes it hadn't taken such a toll on our schooling, but we can thank God when we see what it has done in the character of our children. May the Lord bless your family the same way in your trials.
Yours in the battle,
Hal and Melanie
For more on "Just As I Am: Homeschooling in Hard Times," download our workshop by that title here.
"What's up with him anyway?" We're starting a new session of our much-loved, live, interactive webinar series, Boot Camp 9-12: Getting Geared Up for the Teen Years. Sign up now for a $15 discount!
Coming in March 2013 . . .
Homeschool Mom Burnout
Featuring Heidi St. John
The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daytime:
How to Fit Your Size 16 Day Into a Size 10
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. They have seven children ages 1 to 20 and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference speaker, Heidi approaches homeschooling with humor and grace at events all across North America. Her passion to encourage homeschool moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Visit www.heidistjohn.com for more information.
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"By referring to dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and cavemen as being prehistoric, they are brainwashing you to believe that they all existed before modern man evolved the ability to write and record history." Read more about it in the article Were Prehistoric Animals Real?
". . . The daily trials that test our hearts slowly pluck out the weeds of pride, impatience, selfishness, and calloused indifference from my life"
Read this article
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
For the month of March, 2013
A+ Interactive Math from A+ TutorSoft, Inc.
I received the A+ TutorSoft Inc. CD software for 1st grade to review. The CD software is for A+ Interactive Math for 1st grade. They also offer an online version of the CD software.
Before I tell you about this product, I want to share a discount code that the company is offering. Through the end of March you can receive 50% off by using coupon code SPOFFER50! Wow! ( . . .)
I have to admit, when I signed up to review this I thought we would be using it with my oldest daughter. Instead her little brother decided that this was his new favorite thing in the world! He's always liked math and is actually very good at it. He's 6 years old and ahead of his 8-year-old sister!
My son sat at the computer the first day he used this course and did three lessons. He listened and interacted during the "talking" or lecture portion and then did the questions that went along with the lesson. After he finished the first lesson, I was going to shut it down until the next day but he begged to do another! When a child begs to do school, well it's normally best to allow it! So I let him do a second lesson and second question set. He then decided on his own to go to the third and was well into it before I realized he had even begun! (. . .)
The A+ Tutorsoft Interactive Math program was very easy to install. We simply put the disc in the computer and followed the instructions. It allows you to set up a parent account as well as multiple children accounts. We received the premium edition on CD which retails at $124.99. If that seems a bit pricey make sure to remember the coupon code for 50% off that I shared earlier. I think the cost is reasonable considering you have a full years' worth of math for your child, you can use it (CD version) for more than one child, and it has extra worksheets you can print off.
Read the full text of this review here.
Product review by Erin Slocum, blogging for the Schoolhouse Review Crew at For Him and My Family.
Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "A+ Interactive MATH" for a chance to win* the CD OR online version of this math program for your homeschool!