October 15, 2014 Edition 

The Joy of Teaching--do you have it or have you lost it? 

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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

How do I get out of this slump? I've lost the joy I once had. Where do I find it? Looking back, the times I've lost my joy are the times that I've been worn out physically, hungry spiritually, or things are frustrating or nagging me. Let's look at these areas very briefly:

 

 

TIRED?

A little rest helps the body immensely. When you can, take power naps with the little ones, and get to bed at a reasonable time. Ask for help from others (homeschooled teens are a good resource). Sometimes we need exercise to increase energy--go for a walk with the kids or your husband. Refresh everyone by going to the park. While the kids play, you catch up on your reading list (The TOS App  is free and goes wherever you go!)

 

FRUSTRATED?

Are things nagging you? Make a list and take care of one or two each day. Delegate what you can. Take a day off every two weeks to get things back in order. Organization is not a one-time goal; a little bit of daily organizing keeps things from piling up. If it's too late, tackle the piles 20 or 30 minutes a day.

 

Are your children regularly disobeying or purposely slow? A little bit of consistent training (not yelling or berating--just intentional training) goes a long way towards peace.  

 

HUNGRY?

Eat right. Cut out the bad carbs and eat more protein and veggies. Your body and mind will wake up. Most importantly, eat Godly bread throughout the day and you will be strengthened. Find a prominent spot in the house to place a verse and then think about it all day long. For example, let's meditate on the following verse by breaking it into three parts:

 

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11  

  1. You will show me the path of life: Nothing and no one is able show me the path for my life or for the lives of those around me except God. I can read books or blogs, talk to friends, purchase the right curriculum, but ultimately it is God alone who will show us His path, the reason we are here, and how to live. If I am lacking direction, I have probably begun to walk in my own understanding instead of seeking His.
  2. In Your presence is fullness of joy: Nothing else and no one else can bring me joy. I can look for joy in many things, but will only find it in one thing: the presence of the Lord. I can look for joy in material wealth, or physical healing or close relationships. I may hope for joy in dreams fulfilled or just in the lack of chaos. But I will never find fullness until I am in His presence. It's not about the things in this life that have to come to me in order to bring joy. It's not about the things in this life that have to leave me in order to have joy. It's all about me in the presence of God and the presence of God in me!
  3. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore: I tend to seek pleasure away from closeness with God. I am prone to wander and look for pleasure in earthly things or people. I think I will find it in time to myself and by myself. Pleasure is found at the right hand of God. Stay close to Him. A wandering heart will only find pain and loneliness and confusion. Wander right back to Him. We can sit in the heavenly places with Christ even if we are on this earth as we fix our hearts, souls and minds on Him; He is our pleasure.  

When we dwell in the presence of God, we hear Him whisper His direction for life; we find our dreams and pleasures fulfilled, and we experience the fullness of joy! There's no place I would rather be, and I will bring my kids there with me as I keep them Home Where They Belong.

 

~Deborah

 dwuehler@theoldschoolhouse.com

 

 


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Raising Real Men    
 
From the March 6, 2013, issue of THM

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

 

 


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The Familyman 
 
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like to teach and those who don't. The first group loves lesson plans and curriculum, schedules and class room activity. The second group dreads textbooks and routine classroom activities. 

 

But with that said, it doesn't mean that everyone can't homeschool and find joy in doing so. The truth is homeschooling was called "parenting" way before it was called homeschooling. And parenting should bring joy ... even when it's hard and monotonous. 

 

So to those of you who don't like the school teaching of homeschooling, I say find a way to do it that fits you and your children. Focus in on what matters most (like enjoying your children), ditch the stuff that steals your homeschool joy, and just plug away at the essentials (even if you hate doing them), and don't feel bad for not LOVING the school part of homeschooling. 

 

And of course ...

Be real,

Todd

 

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Contest Corner 
For the month of October, 2014

 

Lightning Literature & Composition 

from Hewitt Homeschooling

 

Have you been searching for a literature curriculum that uses classic books and poems to teach writing skills and literacy analysis? Well, look no further than Hewitt Homeschooling to fit the bill. 

 

Lightning Lit & Comp  

 

Hewitt Homeschooling has been around for many years in the homeschooling circle. They strive to serve parents with students from kindergarten through high school with an emphasis on combining excellent academics with character development, by instilling a strong work ethic, and to develop a spirit of community service within the next generation. Firmly believing that reading great literature and then writing about it going hand in hand in preparing students for college-level reading and writing, 100 Crew members have had the opportunity to use several different curriculum over the last six weeks.

 

The Lighting Literature series is available for elementary to junior and senior high students. By using a combination of novels, poetry, plays, and full length autobiographies to teach composition, literature, and other language arts skills by instilling a love of great literature in children.

 

Read the Crew reviews by clicking through the graphic below!

 

Crew Reviews

 

YOU can WIN Hewitt Homeschooling's American Christian Authors Set!

 

TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Hewitt Homeschooling" for a chance to win* the this literature program for your family!  

 

 

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