2017-2018 Homeschool Plans

We have been lightly homeschooling through the summer, but already the children and I are anxious to get back to a daily routine and start fresh this year with some old familiars and some new things.

As with each new year, I try and evaluate what works and our current situation. Our current situation is a 2nd Grader, a Kindergartener, a Prek 3 year old and a 18 month old terrorist. Because of the little stinker, things will probably be less smooth than usual. But to balance it out, my 2nd grader is reading fluently and can hopefully do some of her work on her own.

Although I tend to lean towards the Charlotte Mason approach to learning, I am also incorporating some workbooks for a few subjects this year. These are mainly for math and for reinforcement of things they are learning. Plus, two of the children will be going to work with daddy one morning a week while the rest of us are in Bible study and will need some things to do to keep them busy.

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You’re in the Turn

You know that one sin you can't seem to shake? The one you get so angry at yourself every time you do it. You pray and pray for God to help you stop. You wake up hopeful every morning, but by 10am you've already blown it. That sin.

Mine is losing my temper. I'd like to list all the reasons why I have a short temper. But the truth is that none of the reasons makes any difference. The fact is that I am called to be long-suffering, patient, gentle, kind and compassionate. But I refuse to do this. I disobey. And I am fully capable of controlling my temper. I do it in public. So why do I choose not to at home?

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You Can Trust the Man who Died for You

A few nights ago I read a devotional that has been replaying itself in my head.

Streams in the Desert, August 1st

And do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.(>Rom 6:13)

I went one night to hear an address on consecration. No special message came to me from it, but as the speaker kneeled to pray, he dropped this sentence: “O Lord, Thou knowest we can trust the Man that died for us.” And that was my message. I rose and walked down the street to the train; and as I walked, I pondered deeply all that consecration might mean to my life and—I was afraid. And then, above the noise and clatter of the street traffic came to me the message: “You can trust the Man that died for you.”

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Trim Healthy Mama

I hesitate to write this post considering I struggle to stick with this way of eating that I’ve used on and off for five years. But I have had several people ask me about the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and about how I lose weight after having a baby, so I thought I’d share the only way I have ever found to lose weight without starving myself to death. And I enjoy the plan so much I try to eat this way as much as possible.

Transparently, I usually gain 50 pounds with each pregnancy and I’ve had four children. This means I have gained and lost 200 pounds in the last six years. *whoa* To lose the weight I’ve tried several methods. I’ve done it by eating as little as I possibly can. I’ve done it by counting calories. I’ve done it by imposing strict restrictions on myself. Frankly, these methods are awful. They make me angry and miserable. And then everyone else in my house is miserable because I am hangry.

I also don’t have time to go to a gym or even to go running or for a walk. I will also be truthful here…even if I did have time, I probably wouldn’t go for a run or go to the gym because I hate doing those things. I do enjoy walks, but trying to take four young children on a walk is not for the faint of heart. I do use the Trim Healthy Mama Workin’s DVD’s several times a week and I enjoy them.

But I mostly depend on my weight loss to come from my eating habits.

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Good Works

If you are a Christian, you probably already understand that nothing you did saved you. No amount of good works or performance made you good enough to earn salvation. The Bible teaches us that it is God who draws us to Himself, He justifies us and saves us and then together we begin a journey of sanctification through reading His Word and obeying it.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Once we are saved, we are thankful for His grace and mercy on us. The more we learn about Jesus, the more thankful we become. The more thankful we become, the more we should want to serve Him and work for His Kingdom.

Enter good works.

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Summer Book Basket

Instead of monthly book baskets over the summer, I decided to lump them all together to give us a more relaxed reading time over the next few months. Enjoy!

  • Blueberries for Sal and Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
  • The 4th of July by Alice Dalgliesh
  • Johnny and the Birds by Elizabeth Webb and Ian Munn
  • Island Boy by Barbara Cooney
  • Rachel and Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
  • Why Misquitos Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema
  • Roxaboxen by Alice McLearen and Barbara Cooney
  • Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Jenny’s Surprise Summer by Eugenie
  • Emma’s Poem by Linda Glaser
  • Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Old Home Day by Donald Hall
  • The Bear that Heard Crying by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
  • Parable of the Sower by Helen Caswell
  • All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Burgess Seashore Book by Thorton Burgess
  • The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown


Do the Next Thing Lesson Planning

If you have been a homeschool mom for any length of time, you have probably tried several different methods of lesson planning. There are many options that range from a boxed curriculum that lays everything out for you to blank planners that you fill in yourself to no planning at all *Grin*.

Search Pinterest and see how many printable lesson planner options come up right now. Probably about 500. Overwhelming. I have wasted so much ink and paper printing these out and then using them for about a week.

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False Teachers

When you think of a false teacher, what comes to mind?

A television evangelist that smacks people in the forehead and says they are healed? A cult leader? Other religious people that don’t claim Jesus to be the Son of God?

What if false teachers were more subtle than that?

What if they seemed legit, always talking about Jesus, always using Scripture and appear to be everything a godly man or woman should be?

This is exactly what Jesus says false teachers are like. Consider what He says in Matthew 7

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

We can clearly see that false prophets have always been a problem and always will be. Even in Jeremiah’s day we find this happening. If this doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. The false prophets and teachers mentioned in these verses sound just like people we hear today.

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May Book Basket

For those of you who are new, I rotate books in our book basket monthly, to keep our reading selections fresh and timely. It helps the children collect memories of certain stories during special times of the year and make associations with holidays, weather, experiences, etc.

Setting up your own seasonal book basket is easy and fun! Grab a big basket (check the thrift stores if you don’t have one) and then look through your book shelves and take out any books that seem to be for certain times of the year. For example, Christmas, Easter, snow, beach, autumn, etc and organize them into months. You can also grab some books from your local library for the basket. I’ve noticed that the library here in my town often has seasonal books on display or on a special cart.

Only bring out the books for the month and keep the rest put away. This makes the monthly books seem very special and the children look forward to getting them out and seeing their old friends again.

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