Facing Fear with a Thankful Heart

img_1041Overwhelmed is not even the word to described the feeling that came over me this morning! It was the first day of Classical Conversation (basically a homeschool co-op)! Lunches and backpacks were packed the day before, fingernails were painted, and outfits were ironed. I had us set up for success, or so I thought.

My oldest woke up with a headache for the third day in a row. No worries, I knew what to do. I quickly measured out her Motrin and prayed it worked! Ten minutes later she was up and ready to start her day, Thank God! Things were going well…two of the kids were finishing up their cereal and the other two were getting dressed. As we went to gather our things to leave, my oldest went down to the floor! The excruciating pain had come back to her head and this time she couldn’t open her eyes or walk. I ran to the cabinet to now measure out some Tylenol, again praying the medicine would work. Finally, we were able to get everyone to the car. The sky was blue and there was no traffic, which is always a miracle when driving around the Atlanta area!

We pulled into Church where we were to meet the group, ten minutes early at that! I prayed over the kids and their nerves before getting out of the car. Everyone was stoked that this day had finally come!

As we walked in the building there are women and kids everywhere! We followed one family down a hall, but we had no idea where each of the their classrooms were. With kids running around us everything started to spin! Right about the time I was going to ask for some help, I heard a bell! They were calling all of us to gather in a small hallway to listen to the announcements and upcoming events. As we stood there listening, my oldest started crying, I asked if her head was hurting.

“Just a little,” she said.

I asked her while looking at her sweet face, “Then why are you crying?”

“Because I don’t want to go to class, she replied as her voice cracked.”

Meanwhile as this conversation is going on, my four year old is wrapped around my leg, begging me to stay with him!

I felt helpless! There is only one of me and four of them!

img_1046The group dismissed in prayer and tutors started walking to their classrooms with their students behind them. They were naming the tutors so quickly I couldn’t catch who was a tutor and who was a parent. So again I stood there with all my little ones looking at me for guidance, and I was lost.
Thankfully, a mom saw my frantic face and offered to assist me. First we dropped off Kayla, next was Victoria. When we made it to Josiah’s room the parents and kids were already sitting down introducing themselves! Then here we come disrupting the tutor, walking in a few minutes late! I encouraged Josiah to take a seat so I could go talk to his sister, but he wouldn’t let go of me! He had a grip on me like an alligator on a hippo in the Savannah! So here we go again disrupting the class to leave. As I walked out with my leach, I calmly said, “it’s his first time in a classroom setting, please give us some grace.” With that I walked out grabbing my daughter’s hand and jetting straight to the bathroom!

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I couldn’t hold back the tears! I knew my daughter didn’t want to be in her class, but I wouldn’t allow fear to paralyze her. She needed to be strong! Even though I knew this, it didn’t make it easier on me, mama. You better believe I wanted to wrap her up and drive away from that church as fast as I could, but that wouldn’t help her to grow, it wouldn’t help her to face her fears.

Three seconds after entering my safe haven place, the bathroom, the director walked in! I had never met her in person, I had only spoke to her on the phone and through a few emails. She asked if I was okay. “No! I feel overwhelmed, I said.” As tears ran down my cheeks.

“I know I haven’t met you, but can I hug you, she asked?”

In which I replied, “yes!”

Let me tell you there is nothing better than a hug! The human touch is so powerful and healing!

After sharing with her a little in the bathroom, Alayna came out of the stall tearless! I encouraged her that she could do this.

We went to her class and tok a seat in the back of the room. She was able to warm up and relax at the same time. A few hours passed and it was snack time. I was able to motivate her to move her chair to the table with the rest of the kids. She finished the day strong, answering questions and participating in games with her classmates.

As for Josiah, he didn’t give a presentation like all the other kids, but he did listen and learned he must raise his hand if he wants to make a comment.

I cannot say it enough, God is stretching our family! We were so comfortable in our happy little lives that growth was a joke and dependence on him was pretty much nonexistent!

When we lift weights, we make small tears in our muscles which usually brings on pain and soreness, but after awhile our muscles heal and we become stronger. Our family is spiritually working out, we feel sore and we are experiencing pain at times, but I know God is also healing and strengthening us and for that, I AM THANKFUL!
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image.jpegNew Flash….homeschool mom’s don’t have it all together, all the time. We have difficult days and even challenging school years. When doubts and frustrations come it’s vital to have someone in your corner to share it with. It’s encouraging to hear another homeschool mom say, “I’ve been there!” If you homeschool or thinking about it, surround yourself with a few seasoned homeschool moms. Trust me, there will be days you feel like pulling your hair out and you’ll need those women to pour into your heart!

Bible Homeschool Curriculum

Are you looking for a Bible curriculum? I would recommend, Who is God? What We Believe Vol. 1, by Apologia Press. We have been going through this curriculum for over a year! Yes, we are taking our time. I purchased the junior journal to go along with the book. The journal has stories/illustrations, crossword puzzles, color pages, memory verses, vocabulary, and hands on projects. This helps keep the youngest of ages interested when learning God’s word.

Click here to find out more and purchase this curriculum. Good news, Christianbook.com is currently having a sale and you will receive 26% off!

School Supplies with a Purpose

Sandie RobertsonI was running some errands yesterday and one of my stops included Wal-Mart. I was walking pass the school supplies when something caught my eye…”There’s no one else on earth like you.” ~Sadie Robertson. Sadie has teamed up with Day Spring Cards and designed a whole collection of notebooks, folders, and composition books with encouraging quotes and scriptures. I picked up a few for my girls…. I love surrounding them with positive and encouraging words. Our girls need to know they are one of kind, precious, smart, strong, and talented. They need to know God cares for them more than anything in this world.

My girls don’t attend a public school, so they don’t deal with bullying from fellow students, but they are apart of extra curricular activities where kids can and do make rude and judgemental remarks. I want their minds and heart filled with truth of who they are and God’s love for them that those remarks bounce off them. These books are just another tool towards better self-confidence.

Just a little FYI: These items weren’t on the top shelf, they were actually on the bottom, and a little hidden.

Here’s a few STATISTICS to put things in perspective:

7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends. – Real Girls, Real Pressure: National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, Dove Self-Esteem Fund

74% …of girls say they are under pressure to please everyone (Girls Inc, The Supergirl Dilemma)

98% … of girls feel there is an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way (National Report on Self Esteem)

92% … of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest. (Dove campaign)

90% … of eating disorders are found in girls (National Association for Self Esteem)

1 in 4 girls today fall into a clinical diagnosis – depression, eating disorders, cutting, and other mental/emotional disorders. On top of these, many more report being constantly anxious, sleep deprived, and under significant pressure. (The Triple Bind, Steven Hinshaw)

By age thirteen, 53% of American girls age 13 are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to…78% by the time girls reach seventeen. (National Institute on Media and the Family)

The Bell is Ringing…Back to School

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I don’t know about you, but the first day of school was always exciting for me with new classes, new teachers, and new clothes. Even though I homeschool our kids, I want them to experience some of that same excitement I did every year.

It starts with breakfast and what better way to say, “Welcome Back to School,” than with fresh yummy donuts (Thanks Daddy)!
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Next comes the grand entrance to a fresh clean homeschool room with new school supply goodies! Their faces make it worth every minute of planning to make this day special!

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FYI: Staples has some great sales on school supplies and Target was getting their things ready this week.

After we settle down, from opening their gift bags, we take a moment to pray for our school year. Homeschooling is NOT easy for the parent or the child. Attitudes can flare quickly when you are with the same people 24/7. We ask God to help us all to watch our words, to stay calm and focused, and most importantly to respect each other.

FTH_2537Self portraits have become a tradition every year. Once completed they are placed in the front of their school year portfolio.

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Everyone has their own handwriting curriculum, but today I decided to combine it with our weekly scripture. I had the girls pull out their new notebooks and copy down the scripture for the week, Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Victoria actually quoted this scripture later in the day when a certain situation came up with our outing plans (She was listening!).

A quick ten minute snack then back to work. Grammar, Math, and Spelling are all completed before lunch. Lunch break can take a half an hour to an hour. Around this time our Turtle Power Guy takes his nap and we all run to Mommy’s bed where we each take turns reading out loud.

Our day doesn’t always look the same, for nothing is written in stone. That’s why we homeschool (I love flexibility!). With that said, I do try to keep somewhat of a routine and soft schedule, it keeps things organized and the kids know what to expect!

Tomorrow is going to be pretty great also…it’s our First Field Trip of the year, on the second day of school!

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Reading with Purpose

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
~Amy Carmichael

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The last sentences in the book read, “The family had promised not to mark her grave with a headstone, but they hoped she would forgive them for placing a stone birdbath over her grave. It bore a single word: Amma.” Amma stands for mother in the Hindu culture and Amy Carmichael had become an Amma to hundreds of girls and boys, something she didn’t welcome at first. Her hesitation came from an old saying in the Tamil language, “Children tie the mother’s feet.” It means that when a woman becomes a mother she is no longer free to do all the things she had done before. It is as though her feet are tied together and she cannot go far from home. Amy’s heart was to minister to the people of India and she didn’t know how she would be able to carry out that call with kids, but God did!

As you plan for your upcoming homeschool year, I highly recommend the Christian Heroes: Then & Now. They are inspiring true stories of men and women who answered God’s call. I choose one or two a year to read aloud to the kids. We have completed George Muller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans, Gladys Aylward, The Adventure of a Lifetime, and today finished Amy Carmichael, Rescuer of Precious Gems. These stories will make you laugh and cry. Your children will learn about different cultures, countries, and the hardships many faced aboard. Chapter after chapter you will read about ordinary men and women whose trust in God accomplished extraordinary exploits for His kingdom and glory.

You can purchase these at Christianbookstore.com or YWAM Publishing.

Summertime = Project Time


Summertime means checking off the project list! Our homeschool closet has been screaming for help for a while now. I installed a second shelf and now boxes are no longer falling out every time we open the doors!

There are many benefits to organizing…you are able to find things quicker which in turns helps with time management. When we are able to grab what we need within seconds it reduces our stress because we no longer need to turn the house upside down to find a stick of glue, and one of my favorites is the eye appeal. I love the look of a clean and organized house!

What are you waiting for? Pick a project a day or one a week and feel the positive effects when completed!