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November 26, 2014 Edition 

Stress-free, Spirit-led Homeschooling  

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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is just around the corner. It's not the best time to be thinking about homeschooling. Or maybe it is. I find when I take these little school breaks with my children, I see more clearly why I love this thing called home education.

 

It is a precious thing to have my children home with me. I am thankful to be able to give our children a Spirit-led education and a stress-free learning environment. Just what does a stress-free, Spirit-led homeschool look like?

 

It looks like:

 

  • A home where the pillars of true education stand on the firm foundation of the Word of God
  • Prayer happening in school, with the teacher, and as a necessity not an option.
  • A way of life and not a rigid set of cookie cutter rules or a set of boxed curriculum.
  • Cuddling with a newborn and watching his first smile.
  • Being right there when my baby takes her first steps and the whole family is gathered around cheering and clapping.
  • Singing songs with our preschoolers while dancing in circles and learning Bible stories and Scriptures.
  • Coloring, playing with clay, painting or making puzzles with my three- and five-year-olds while listening to worship music.
  • Reading good books aloud to everyone and hearing them beg for just one more chapter!
  • Going to the park and playing tag or going to the library to find more books to take home.
  • Trying out science experiments and going for nature walks observing the brilliance of God's design.
  • Sitting around the family room and laughing with each other or talking about more serious matters or reading our Bibles together.
  • Watching each child learn and grow and develop their God given abilities (while wondering how to stop time from traveling so fast).

It looks like ... experiencing life, and life in Christ, together.

 

During this little breather from academics, it is easier to see the reasons for thanksgiving. From a perspective of thanksgiving, I see that no matter how challenging, draining, exhausting, monotonous, or exciting homeschooling can be, I am thankful I am home where I belong and living the life God called me to live. And, I'd never, ever want it any other way; I could never send my children away to experience this life with someone else. Because we are all home where we belong, we are learning and laughing and crying and playing and growing together. This is God's brilliant design and I am so blessed and thankful for it!

 

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. Psalm 92:1-2; 4

 

~Deborah

 dwuehler@theoldschoolhouse.com

 
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Raising Real Men    
 

 When we started homeschooling, we were desperately committed to doing right by our children. We worried and fussed and pushed them as hard and fast as we could. We see lots of people right there right now.

 

For us, homeschooling meant an intensely challenging, rigorous academic program. It meant a conservative lifestyle. That's what everyone said -and that's what suited us. Then life happened.

 

It took a few years of burnt-out children and worn-out parents to make us re-access a bit. When the Lord sent trial after trial that torpedoed our homeschool and reduced us to barely surviving sometimes, we began to ask an important question, "What does the Lord want us to teach our children?"

 

Micah 6:8 says, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

 

Hmmm. Not much about multiple foreign languages or calculus there. There's not much about how we dress, or what we eat, or what kind of medicine we use. Instead, it's about our relationship with God and man. It's about discipleship, not trying to have the best educated kids or the most conservative looking family or the healthiest children.  

 

That meant much less stress. It means that those things don't rule us. Where the Word commands us, we obey. In matters of liberty, we are free. What does that look like?

 

We try to do what is best for each child, even if it doesn't fit what everyone else is doing. For some of our kids, reading ancient philosophers was right up their alley. Others focused on entrepreneurship. When we keep our children doing the latest homeschool fad because everyone else is doing it, although it's not serving them well, we need to think again.

 

We've tried to drop out of the Everybody's Doing It Club in other ways, too. I try not to worry about what other families are eating, how they're dressing, or how they're treating sickness. These are matters of liberty, not law.  

 

It's incredibly freeing to ask yourself at the end of a "wasted" homeschool day, the kind where you spent the whole time disciplining, training, teaching, and counseling, "What does the Lord think about this?" Even though it feels like a failure, maybe instead our Lord is saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." We think it's pretty plain His thoughts are different than ours!

 

For us, homeschooling became much less stressful when we took our eyes off other homeschoolers and put them on Christ.

 

Dear friends, we would be grateful if you would consider the very cool (we think) and character-building (we hope) gifts at our site for your Christmas shopping. Those purchases keep our ministry going until the speaking season starts again. We appreciate your support so much! Check out our store here.  

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hal & Melanie

 

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I don't think there's a homeschooling mom on the planet who DOESN'T want a stress-free homeschool. No one ever says, "I just need more stress." In order to have a stress-free homeschool, however, you have to be spirit-led.

 

Now don't try to over spiritualize this. You don't need to conjure up a feeling or inner peace. But if you are daily seeking God's desire for your family, then those ideas, thoughts, and directions that pop into your head are from GOD.

 

The problem is in FOLLOWING those ideas because most homeschooling moms are FEAR led ... which leads to stress-filled homeschool days.

 

So here's my formula for having the stress-free homeschool you dream of: do what you feel like God nudges you to do, NOT what everyone says you should do. If you sense one of your children is discouraged in school or has lost interest in a particular subject, then use that prompting to adjust and read a book or play a game with him/her instead. If your child cries over math, then ask God to show you how to make math more fun that day. You might need to put the workbook aside and get out something more hands-on. If all the troops seem sick of school, including you, then do a spontaneous craft or go somewhere fun and take a short, unplanned break.

 

Take right now for instance. You might WANT to stop doing school and start preparing for Thanksgiving, so STOP. That's Spirit-led and will lead to a stress-free day.

 

Got it?

 

Be real,

Todd

 

PS. You still have time to get your easy-to-make Christmas crafts in time for fun, family advent nights. But order them now.

 

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Contest Corner 
For the month of November, 2014

 

 

The Great Katie Kate Offers Answers About Asthma  

 

The Great Katie Kate Offers Answers About Asthma is the third book in The Great Katie Kate series. In this book, written by Dr. M. Maitland Deland and illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin, the Great Katie Kate appears to three children, Julie, Andrew, and Claire, and helps each of them navigate their new asthma diagnoses. She explains to each about types of asthma triggers, testing and medications the doctor has prescribed, and why it is so important to follow the doctor's directions. She also helps them remove Worry Wombat, a characterization of the very real fears and concerns they have, from their lives. List price for this hardcover book is $14.95.

 

With a houseful of asthmatics, we are no strangers to nebulizers, peak flow meters, and controller and rescue medications.  We found this book to be a great resource for the younger children, and a nice refresher for the older ones. It explains the process of diagnosing asthma (including possible tests that a doctor might do,) followed by a variety of treatment plans. The Great Katie Kate uses medical words such as bronchi, spirometry, and nebulizer, but then explains them in kid-friendly terms. This way, when parents and doctors discuss the child's condition and care plan, the terms being discussed are familiar and less intimidating. By explaining the diagnosis and treatment processes in a simplified manner, this book empowers young asthmatics to help be active in their own care. (. . .)

 

Read the rest of the review!

 

YOU can WIN this book!

 

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

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