Monthly Archives: September 2013

9 Things Homeschool Moms Wish Their Husbands Knew About Homeschooling

...That Could Change Your Home!

momI recently conducted an informal survey to find out what homeschooling moms wish their husbands knew about homeschooling. Responses came in from across the nation. Keep reading to learn the nine top answers, as well as 27 practical applications you can consider implementing in your own home.

Of course, every home—and mom—is different, so don’t assume that every concern and practical application included here will fit your situation. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Share this list with your wife and ask her which ideas will best meet her needs. Keep an open mind and work together to find solutions that will fit your family! (more…)

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by BlogManager12
September 24, 2013
Family Discipleship, Homeschooling

It’s That Time of Year: Why We Homeschool

Keeping Our Vision Strong at the Beginning of Another Year

Another school year brings with it a torrent of blended feelings—expectation and excitement on one end of the spectrum, trepidation and questioning on the other. The hope of a new beginning mingles with the doubt and questions that linger in the corners of our minds. “Will I be able to handle algebra this year? It’s going to be harder homeschooling now that the new baby has come. Wouldn’t enrolling the kids in school have been a better choice? Why am I putting myself through this for another year?”

As a homeschool graduate, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a homeschooling mom who didn’t sometimes wonder why she was teaching her kids at home. After all, homeschooling can be a challenge—a big one. There are a lot of unique responsibilities you carry that most other parents can’t begin to understand. And your kids aren’t always going to understand your sacrifices and try to make your job easier! I know that when I was being homeschooled, I certainly didn’t always sympathize with my mother’s headaches or try to smooth her way. (Just ask her what it was like trying to teach me creative writing!)

The challenges come, and with them, the questions. The persistent “Why am I doing this?” often seems to lie just beneath the surface, ready to challenge, threaten, even condemn. It is spoken by a thousand insistent tongues, whispered in our ears by a thousand unrelenting voices. “Why bother? Why endure all this? What’s the use?” The refrain grows as friends, family, neighbors, and even complete strangers accost and question. Society points a disapproving finger, or perhaps looks on with pity, feeling sorry for the downtrodden, behind-the-times mom who doesn’t have enough ambition to get out of the house and go make something of herself.

“Why bother? What’s the use?”

It’s a question worth answering. And at this moment in time, while the new school year is still young, now is a good time to meet it face to face. (more…)

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Put a Lid on the Media Monster

computerHere’s the rub: “The parent’s convenience becomes the children’s addiction.”

If raising children is just too difficult without frequent bouts of resorting to seating children in front of media to give us a rest, we are out of step with history. Abraham raised children without the Internet, as did Noah, yes, even when they were tired.  In fact, parents have routinely raised their progeny without any outside help of any kind for 6,000 years.  Conversely, because Lot caved in to Sodom’s version of the Internet, his family wouldn’t even follow him out of town.

Most of us, as adults, have natural restraints on our personal use of media due to our wholesome childhoods, much of them spent outdoors, filled with “doings”, building forts, playing with wooden train tracks, riding bikes, racing up hills.  This is not true of many children nowadays.  They have been raised on “sittings”.  Screens have been their childhood friends and surrogate parents for hours every day.  Some children don’t even know where the “off” buttons are.  This is an engulfing phenomenon that we as parents simply must limit.

Also, we as adults generally have mature spiritual lives with which to evaluate media.  Our children don’t.  They don’t yet have enough of an experience base with God to make quantum hours in front of media safe for themselves.  Their spiritual lives aren’t yet formed; children are not yet stable in this regard.  They are reeds in the wind.  And a reed is easily broken.  Oops.

Here is the thought-provoking cost of allowing our children an ever-increasing addiction to media, if we don’t get a handle on this, and get a handle on it soon.

1.—Media can waste a phenomenal amount of time.  It often takes you in further than you wanted to go and makes you stay longer than you wanted to stay.  Log in your hours and your children’s for just one week and see for yourself.  Try living a week without any of it and you’ll really see how deep this dependency has become for you, and deeper still and more profoundly for your children.

2.—Social media can foster self-absorption in your child as he spends hours presenting himself, crafting his image, and seeking to be popular rather than to be zealously holy or servant-hearted.

3.—Visual reality begins to replace real reality; graciousness begins to give way to irritation with real family members, because they fall short of the “Photoshopped” idealized friends of virtual reality.  Does your husband prefer a virtual wife to a real wife?  How much time did media steal yesterday at your house, from spending time with other family members or from progressing with household duties?  Real life is difficult.  Doing our duty is often difficult.  Virtual realities, on the other hand, are easily engaged.

4.—Texting creates a jerking autonomic nervous system in the child as he hyper-responds to trivia, looking at texts he receives and urgently and aggressively punching keys to send.  For most children, this has become a truly addicting monomania.  Could it result in nervous tics in the future?  You may want to consider limiting texting time to once a day, rather than allowing full vent to this small physical stress syndrome all day long.

5.—All media usage involves small muscle movements—in contrast to large muscle movements—and shallow breathing as opposed to deep breathing, for hours and hours and hours. Time thus spent takes a developmental toll on a child.  When these hours stack up it can amount to fully half of the hours of a normal childhood—hours that are lost to the more constructive massive physical stimulation and activity.  A nervous system that is chronically strained by this can begin to break down the child’s immune systems.

6.—Looking real people in the eyes lets us understand much about them without ever saying a word; this is absent from electronic communication.  Many youth, so trained, don’t know how to look people in the eyes anymore, especially adults.  And they have forgotten to work on their faces, to make them cheerful, deliberately.  It takes effort to think of gracious things to say verbally to real people.  We are losing ground here, as parents.  We are rapidly losing ground in the training of social graces.  Basic social interchanges may soon become extinct—lost dinosaur skills of our youth.

7.—Many children are becoming more interested in the electronic device at their fingertips than in the real person who is inches away from them.

8.—Oftentimes, social media replaces Bible devotions and basic duties—crowding them out of the life totally. Have we spent as much time in the Bible as with the other media?  Which did we do first thing this morning, at our first discretionary moment?  Have we trained our children to finish doing their duty, first?  Did they tend to duty for the entire day today, prior to embarking into social media?  For that matter, do we really need social media at all?  Of what benefit is it to keep up with a myriad of friends’ emerging thoughts and lives, all day long?  What does that do to the development of our own lives?  How many accomplishments do we actually do, under such conditions?  Is social entertainment preferable to productivity?  To what end?

9.—Social media fulfills a longing for attention, and can feed the flesh.  By it we can easily become hypocrites—posing as one sort of person on the screen and quite another in the here and now.  Are your children becoming secretive over the YouTube videos they watch?  Can you see their screens at all times?  Does the screen face the center of the room you all are in all day long?  We used to be able to see book covers when people read; it was a natural curb to desiring to read wickedness, because we knew that others would see the covers.  Seeing what is absorbing your children at all times is crucial to maintaining their accountability to us as their responsible adults.

10.—Movies are a respond-a-thon, in which passivity trumps initiation time and time again.  When the virtual reality is turned off we awake from our stupor and find that we exerted no godly influence upon our families or our neighbors.

11.—The only way to create visual media is to descend into the material world, and at an unnaturally fast-changing pace.  We must have action shots to hold people’s attention, and to intensify that attention we must change what is seen every two to three seconds.  This totally nixes a reflective mind.  Take a family that has read for ten years and place them next to a family that has only seen movies for ten years, and those families will appear as if they came from different planets; the readers will have oceans more depth to them.

12.—Virtual gaming includes watching violence and actors wearing seductive clothing.  There is no morally neutral gaming.  None.  Also, it dangerously moves the person from being an observer to a being some sort of participant.

13.—Media teaches us contentment and excitement without God.  God is generally nowhere to be found.  This often leads to full-blown idolatry.

14.—The virtual world is not eternal, unlike the real world.  So attuned, continually, we can end up giving away our influence—just as easily as Esau gave away his birthright for a pot of porridge.

In conclusion, get a grip on your children’s affection for media. This is a freight train that has no brakes.  See our article on TV Watching Out of Control and read our past blogs on this topic.  This is a large subject, with many facets you may not have considered in this way.  If you become more fully aware of all of its tentacles by reading these, it may well change your current directions.

By Renée Ellison

“Your home schooling tips are like brain candy to me!” Renee Ellison’s practical tips have been a boost to thousands of moms. With over 30 years of experience in Christian, private, secular, and home education, she has taught nearly all grade levels and was an elementary principal, head of a high school English department and Teacher of the Year. Her book, Teachers' Secrets and Motherhood Savvy for Homeschoolers, is available at her website and (along with a dozen other Kindle eBooks) on Amazon.

Used by permission of Renee Ellison. © 2012 by Crossover. All Rights Reserved.
"On the computer (10 things)” © 2010 Surat Lozowick, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license:

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by BlogManager12
September 9, 2013
Family Discipleship

Bedtime Stories

bedtime stories

As a father of five children, and now a grandfather, I have spent  three and a half decades seeking to pass down the Christian faith to the  next generation. Let me deal with only one area of this vast work —  one, I believe, that appears to have had some effectiveness in bringing  up our little ones “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” so that  now as adults they all confess Christ.

I take for granted the general atmosphere in which Christians are to  raise their children: faithful church attendance, some kind of daily  family worship, love of parents one to another and to the children, a  sincere and arduous effort to live lives of integrity (including the  honesty to apologize when we are in the wrong), time spent talking to  our children, instructing them in biblical truth (and perhaps the  Catechism), as well as playing with them, and taking them to visit  extended family and other friends — including needy people in the  region. This kind of practical, active familial piety forms the  necessary background for the opportunity I wish to raise here for all  who desire to communicate the faith to the next generation. (more…)

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Webinar Recording: Getting Back Together – How to Reintegrate the 21st Century Family in Work and Provision

CHOA 4 Steps - wideYou’ve heard about family–based education (commonly called homeschooling or home discipleship). Many families have seen the disintegration of family relationships over the last few decades and responded by integrating relationship and character into their home and their children’s lives. But what about the 80% or more of real life not directly connected to classroom learning? What about your family’s work, your budget, your finances, your higher education and vocational training, your health care, your inheritance, and your overall financial vision? Does your family have a unified, integrated vision for where you will be in 5, 10, and 20 years from now? Will you be able to accomplish that together? In anticipation of the Family Economics and Mentorship Conference, on October 11 & 12, be sure to listen to this important episode with Kevin Swanson, as we discuss how we can take the next step in incorporating a Biblical vision for our families’ economics on all levels.



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Frustrated to Find Hope

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope.” (Romans 8:20, NIV)

Remember the account in Mark 9 of the demon-possessed boy that the disciples could not cast out? They were embarrassed and frustrated at their inability to cast them out and asked Jesus why. His answer? “This kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” Frustration presses us to find where the hope is. When the normal, everyday approach to life is not enough, frustration drives us to a deeper spiritual level to seek a higher spiritual end.

The Christian home-school must embrace hardship in Jesus’ call to discipleship. This hardship is easily found within the real-life frustrations of the ordinary home. (more…)

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