May 25, 2016 Edition 
Do You Remember Why You Are Homeschooling?
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
For those days when you can't remember why you are homeschooling, and you think about saying these two words, "I QUIT!"--I have a list of 25 reasons to help you remember why you are homeschooling, and why not to give up:

25 Reasons Not to Give Up
  1. God's grace is sufficient; His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corin. 12:9).
  2. God gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  3. God's mercy endures forever (Lam. 3:22)
  4. God works in us to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
  5. Our children need Godly parent-mentors and teachers.
  6. Our children need their questions answered from a Biblical worldview.
  7. Our children need and are permitted room to grow and time for creativity.
  8. Our children need and receive Godly socialization.
  9. Our children learn to be unselfish and how to serve others.
  10. Our children retain their innocence.
  11. Our children will have a lasting legacy of love and commitment.
  12. Our children and our children's children will be spared worldly indoctrination.
  13. We know where our children are at all times.
  14. We know what our children are being taught at all times.
  15. We know who our children's friends are and who their parents are.
  16. We retain our God-given right to educate our own children.
  17. Our children receive a superior education, no matter what philosophy or curriculum.
  18. Homeschooled children receive one-on-one attention and specialized training.
  19. Homeschooled children can see and experience the world around them regularly.
  20. Homeschooling permits the teaching of important life skills.
  21. Homeschooling builds strong character and strong relationships.
  22. Our children will not have to walk in the counsel of the ungodly (Ps. 1:1).
  23. Our children will not have to stand in the path of sinners (Ps. 1:1).
  24. Our delight will be in the law of the Lord, and everything we do will prosper (Ps. 1:2-3).
  25. Our God never gives up, and He gives us His strength to continue the journey.
I know there are a huge number of other reasons for not giving up, and I know that many of you feel you have a lot more reasons to feel like quitting, but before you say the words, "I quit!" please read this article on quitting. I pray it blesses and strengthens you.

Hang in there! Don't be anxious about tomorrow! One day at a time, and as we seek God's kingdom first, He will take care of the rest.

Hanging in there with you,

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Political Correctness has run amok! The Feminist Movement
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Raising Real Men    
We all have days when we watch the yellow buses roll by and think, surely they can do a better job teaching our kids than we've done this week. Of course, you don't make radical family changes on the basis of one disappointing day, but if those days start to add up, you might begin to question this homeschooling choice you made. Or maybe there's been a major upheaval--a serious illness, a job loss or job change, or a child going through a very challenging period of life.
We admit, there have been days like that for us, too--even after homeschooling for decades.
We find there are a few things that help us keep going:
First, remember the reasons you started homeschooling. Was it concern about the social environment in the local schools? Was it a desire to give your kids a Christ-centered education? Were you hoping for your kids to have a more creative school experience than you got? All of these are common hopes. Have any of those things changed? Probably not!
Have you noticed the reasons you continue homeschooling may be different than the reasons you began? We discovered so many benefits to home education that weren't at the top of our list initially. We love the flexibility, the shared time as a family, and the reunion of "learning" and "living" in our home. These are important, too.
Temporary circumstances don't change the long-term perspective. We've had to deal with high-risk pregnancies, job relocations, and major illness while homeschooling. Well-meaning friends and family may have suggested a break from homeschooling, but we realized at the time that these challenges were passing things--even the need for cancer treatment doesn't cancel the desire for a uniquely Christian, family-led education. 
In fact, the struggles we face are part of God's curriculum, not ours. Admittedly, we didn't get as much "book work" done when Mom and the baby were in the hospital or Dad was in chemotherapy, but those are times when our children learned more about compassion, patience, responsibility, and service. They learned about trusting God in spite of circumstances. The apostle Paul said that "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17), and at the end of our hard and doubtful times, we've realized God was doing a serious work in our kids' hearts--and ours.
Because actually, it's not about schooling--it's about discipleship. And who wants to give that up?
Yours in the battle,  
Hal & Melanie Young
We'll be all over the country the next few weeks--We're speaking at FPEA in Orlando; NCHE in Winston-Salem, NC; SCOPE in Rocklin, CA; the Tulsa Homeschool Expo; and AFHE in Phoenix. Come by and say, "Hi!" And for encouragement now, check out our workshop on hard times: http://www.raisingrealmen.com/jia

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The Familyman 
Now here's a topic I can sink my teeth into. It's what I do ... it's what I live for (I think Ursula said that). In fact, almost everything I speak and write about is for the very reason of reminding homeschoolers why they homeschool.
Now, I can't say it all in a couple of little paragraphs (Get the live seminar for the entire life-changing truth), but in the past several decades of the modern-day homeschool movement, we've gone from very few homeschooling how-to's, but compelling why-to's, to a plethora of how-to's, but forgotten why-to's.
I'm the Why-To Man. My job is NOT to TELL you why you should homeschool, but to REMIND you of why you began homeschooling in the first place.
Remember those early days? You were full of conviction, joy, and energy. Now you're worn out, joyless, and full of doubt. Your children have forgotten your smile, and you've forgotten the great privilege and joy of having your children at home.
But, here is the truth. Homeschooling was God's idea. (He called it family.) You're doing a great job, and your children are going to be far better off for being homeschooled than if you had put them on the yellow bus. So, stand firm, not as a militant homeschooler, ready to take on any nay-sayer who challenges you, but as a mother convinced that what you're doing every day MATTERS and impacts the world.
Now, go get my audio CD to hear the rest of the truth!

Be real,



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Contest Corner 
For the month of May 2016  
We've all heard the term "Intelligent Design" in reference to creationism, but Jay Schabacker uses the term "Purposeful Design" to go one step further. It takes the concept of Intelligent Design, and emphasizes the personal aspects of the way God created everything in our universe. His book, Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation, is a gorgeous book that not only tells the wonders of God's creation, but shows the beauty and majesty of the world around us. The 94-page book retails for $18.95.
When I first saw Purposeful Design, I thought this bright picture book would be perfect for my second grader. As I started reading, however, I realized that it was better suited for my seventh grader. The colorful pictures appeal to younger students, but the text is written for older students and even adults. I checked a few sample passages and found the reading level to be at least sixth grade; several passages, scored at a high school level in terms of readability.
This book is divided into seven chapters, each dealing specifically with a single day of creation. The chapters are packed with examples of how God's design for our world is perfectly arranged, so that life can exist the way we know it. For instance, in Chapter 4, we find that the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth's spin axis allows us to have seasons the way we know them. In addition, several examples are given to show how the earth orbits the sun in a precise and repeatable way.  The sunrise and sunset times for a specific day and a specific location are constant from year to year, only varying by two or three minutes. The builders of Stonehenge arranged the rocks so that the sunrise would shine through a specific hole in the site on the Summer Solstice (and only on that day).
I am hard-pressed to pick a favorite section of this book. Each chapter is packed full of interesting scientific facts that illustrate how perfectly the universe works, how each animal is perfectly suited to its environment, or how perfectly each aspect of the human body is designed. Even after reading through the book from cover to cover, I still found myself picking it back up to reread a section or two--how the human head was designed, why ice floats, or what beautiful stars can be seen through the Hubble Space Telescope. (Click here to read the rest of the review.)
YOU can WIN this beautiful book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather (hmader@thehomeschoolmagazine.com) with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Purposeful Design" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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