Schoolhouse Teachers
July 6, 2016 Edition 
Teaching The Challenging Child: YOU are the expert! 
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
When I first wrote the article, Homeschooling the Rebel, in 2006, I didn't realize the impact it would have on homeschooling families. It seemed everyone had a challenging child, but no one wanted to talk about it. Finally, we could bring the subject to the homeschool table. Back then, I was in the middle of raising that challenging child. I was still working out where the intense rebellion was coming from, and how to deal with it, and how to not completely fall apart each day--a lot of lessons learned--often the hard way.
A few years later came Homeschooling the Rebel Part 2, where we talk about consistency, distractions, bad habits, and more positively, we look at the blessing of being chosen to raise these rebels who were created to fight the good fight of faith. (I would love to share the ebooks Homeschooling the Rebel Part 1 and Part 2 with you as part of a free package here.)
Again, another few years, and that challenging child was now a teen. So she and I wrote together the article, Homeschooling the Teen Rebel detailing what to do with these teens, how to cope with them, and how to love them.
Here's the thing, from my rebel's birth forward, I was her expert. I knew her best: what made her melt down, what motivated her, how she learned--I knew her better than any expert could. And, I had my own private Counselor (Christ Himself) to give me wisdom on a daily basis, and I often shared it with her.
Today, ten years later, through tear-filled days and prayer-filled nights, we now see a girl who is fighting the right fight. She was created to fight and is battling the enemy of her soul (instead of her parents and siblings), while making an impact on this ungodly culture in her many pro-life, evangelistic efforts. She was created perfectly for this ministry.
God never gave up on her, even when I wanted to. Not one day. He never gave up on me either. Where there is another day and another breath, there is always hope.
I know that raising a challenging child can cause you to want to say, "I Quit!" and believe me, I know those feelings are real! As real as that guilty feeling that keeps nagging you that you are not good enough for this challenging task.
When these feelings threaten to take over, and life is challenging with your difficult children, run to your Helper. When you feel like you are failing and need extra strength, you will find it in Him alone. Just as no one understands your rebel as you do, no one understands you like God does. His presence and His Word are a lifeline to a drowning homeschool parent (and child)!

"Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart fail: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25, 26
PS. In case you are thinking of putting your rebel back in school, here are some articles that might help:
Public, Private, or Home Education: What Are My Options

Trehans Treasures
Trehan's Treasures offers Art Workshops, Live & Online Homeschool Classes in early American history, Original Art, Illustration and Stationery Products. Plus we are home to LibertyBox© - A subscription service for kids featuring monthly projects in studying early American history!
Raising Real Men    
Sometimes you just wonder if you can really do this, if you can really meet their needs as well as the professionals at school could. We get it.
We've had all kinds of challenging kids: one with severe dyslexia who didn't learn to read until he was eleven, one with a life-threatening heart condition, one that was so precocious he learned to read well before he was five and raced ahead through school. All are challenging in different ways, and we might have doubted our decision to homeschool, too, except for the experiences of our family in school.
One of our family members was severely dyslexic. Year after year, the schools weren't much help. His parents, though, did everything they could to help in the time they had with him, hiring tutors, buying audiobooks, encouraging him. Then came his seventh grade teacher, who believed he was just lazy and made him read and spell in front of the class so the mockery would "encourage" him to do better. All it did was destroy his confidence. Although he's very successful now, we didn't want our son to go through that.
Another family member was very academically gifted. In the second grade, she was in an experimental program that let her advance as quickly as she was able. In the first semester, she completed through the sixth grade level. After Christmas, her family moved to another school district and she learned nothing new for the next four years. She thought she would go crazy. We didn't want our son to go through that.
When we felt uncertain, we thought about what our family members had gone through and realized that no one cared more than we did about our children. We didn't know what to do in every situation, but we found out. We did research, we asked for help, we prayed for guidance. And it worked out.
Our most academically challenging kids are all graduates of our school and doing well in life. In fact, they're grateful we homeschooled. There are many well-meaning teachers out there, and quite a few good ones, but no one, no one, has more at stake in your children's future than you do. God will give you the grace to meet their needs.
If you want to hear more of our story, we have a workshop that Melanie did together with our dyslexic son that you and your struggling learner might want to listen to together--and we have the materials that helped us the most, too. Check out the struggling learners section of our website.  You can do this!

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie Young 

Wings to Soar Online Academy

Wings to Soar Online Academy specializes in helping dyslexics and other outside-the-box learners gain skills and confidence to thrive in school and life through Custom Path to Success Learning Plans.
Building Faith Families

Steve Demme
Mom is the Expert

When our fourth son was born with Down Syndrome, I began to appreciate my wife, Sandi, in a whole new way. Naturally quiet and an introvert by nature, she became the most important, powerful, and effective advocate of our small and frail son, John.
At four months, John was in an oxygen tent with a virus. While in the hospital, doctors detected a heart condition. At six months, he had his first catheterization in preparation for open heart surgery, which was performed successfully at eight months. We thought we were out of the woods and were looking forward to a period of normalcy.
But he was having trouble digesting his food. We went to the specialist who assured us he was okay. Sandi knew he was not. I spoke to the physician and said look again, my wife knows something is wrong, and she doesn't make mistakes. They did another series of tests and found a blockage which led to intestinal surgery at ten months.
I learned long ago to trust my wife's intuition as our son's mom. She knows when something is amiss, whether physically, spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually. She is the expert on John, and I thank God for her diligent and caring heart.
When she was considering curriculum for homeschooling, she was attracted to a structured textbook approach. We dutifully bought desks at a yard sale and refinished them to outfit our "schoolroom." After a year or so, she learned of a hands-on, unit study approach. Even though this was outside of her comfort zone, she felt it would be better for her energetic sons. She went to a training workshop to prepare herself for this style of teaching and follow-through with her boys, for which they are still grateful.
Sandi was designed and created by God to be a mother. She has been sovereignly and divinely empowered to raise our sons. She has faithfully devoted herself to our children and to me. I rise up and honor my wife, my friend, and my sons' mom. She is amazing.
Steve Demme and his wife, Sandra, have been blessed with four sons. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. He produces a monthly newsletter, a weekly podcast, and other resources to strengthen and encourage parents. Learn more about these at


Summer School for Homeschoolers_  

TOS Excellence Awards 
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Contest Corner 
For the month of July 2016  
Teach Your Kids to Code: A Parent-Friendly Guide to Python Programming, was written by Bryson Payne, and published by No Starch Press. Dr. Payne has been a computer science professor at the University of North Georgia for over 15 years. In Teach Your Kids to Code, he has taken his 30 years of programming experience and helped make computer programming accessible to parents.
Obviously, you will need a computer to apply the coding lessons in this book. You will also need to download certain programs and modules onto your computer. The very first chapter instructs you to download Python so you can begin programming with the Python language in chapter two. (. . .)
There are 308 pages divided into ten chapters, an introduction, 3 appendices, and a glossary. The appendices contain screen shots and step-by-step instructions for downloading and installing Python, Pygame, and other required modules on your computer. These downloads are all available free, so there isn't any additional cost. The instructions are individualized for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and are very clearly explained. (. . .)
Teach Your Kids to Code isn't specifically intended for homeschool use, but it is well-suited for homeschooling families. A teenager can manage to work through it on their own. A ten to twelve year old would probably need more parental help. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone beneath ten, unless you are ready to learn alongside the child.
My 14 year old son is using Teach Your Kids to Code on his own, as part of his computer science credit for high school. It reminds me of the programming I learned in high school, creating simple games. With only ten chapters, this isn't really a semester's worth of work, unless the student spends extra time experimenting with the code to make changes to the original program after it's created. My son is using it in conjunction with another programming book, to make it worth a full credit, two semester's worth of work.
Read the rest of the review.)
YOU can WIN this awesome book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Teach Your Kids" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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