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Simply…Living For Him

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Tried and True Homeschooling Tips

This year we begin our 15th year of homeschooling. Having successfully graduated one that is off at college, and still homeschooling three more, I can clearly look back now at the things I wished I had known sooner! But my mistakes can hopefully be someone’s help!

Hear my story- An Unlikely Homeschooler

So, here are my biggest tips to homeschooling! (for more homeschooling encouragement, click here)

Homeschool is not school at home.

Early on I tried to recreate the schoolroom in my house. It took a few years until I realized,  homeschooling is completely different than just doing school at home. It is a lifestyle and a way of life. It provides the freedom to learn without being confined to four walls. You do not need a classroom in your home to teach. In fact, the best learning took place in our yard, on the couch, and at the kitchen table.

Real-life is really the teacher.

Most of the best lessons we learned over the years were never in a plan book or a textbook. They took place in real life. After all, we are preparing our children for life, not a test.

It’s okay to not finish a book.

Learning doesn’t take place when we cram. That may store knowledge into our minds, but true learning takes place when it is paced according to the learner’s needs. Don’t stress about finishing every book. I learned that schools rarely gets through a whole text in a year. And if you don’t finish during the school year, but you really want or need to, you have time. Finish it over the summer or even next school year. The beauty of homeschooling is that you are on your own schedule.

Stick with what works.

Let’s face it. These days there is so much available to homeschoolers and most if it is really good! We have endless options. But if you find something you like, stick with it. Don’t let the new and latest curriculum tempt you from what is already tried and true. Otherwise, we play the game of curriculum swap every year and we never really get into a good routine. So stick with what works, even when your friend says, “Oh, I saw this new math book…” ūüėČ

Keep it simple.

My mantra. In all things. Simple is best and when you weed out all of the distractions, it is truly beneficial for everyone. Homeschooling does NOT have to be complicated. In fact, it is glorious when it isn’t! Too often we left the distractions drown us. Be free of all the extras. Keep God at the center. Love on your family. Enjoy learning together. Build your family. Not just a transcript.

Listen to the podcast- Simple Homeschool

Relationships trump academics every time.

One of the greatest blessings that have been a result of homeschooling is our family and the relationships we have built. We are a close-knit family. And I believe because we invested our time and energy into that, it has paid off. Was it always easy? NO. But nothing worth doing ever is. When attitudes were poor, instead of pushing books more, those were the times we focused on character and discipleship. Because when the relationship between you and your child is solid, it makes academic issues easier to conquer- together.

Never, by any means, compare.

The comparison trap will steal all the joy from your homeschool. Your homeschool is not supposed to look like anyone else’s. God created YOUR family for a unique purpose and He will accomplish those purposes uniquely to your family. When you look at what everyone else is doing, it is coveting someone else’s life. Keep your eyes on God. Don’t think the grass is greener elsewhere. Tend to your own. And remember, you answer to God alone. We work for an audience of one.

Keep God at the Center.

Want to be “successful” in your homeschool? Pray. Let God lead you. Don’t take your eyes off of HIm. Seek Him all things. That’s the key. Read all about this in my book Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead YourHomeschool.

Get the e-course to show you how to teach using the Bible as your core–>Bible Based Homeschooling course

Read–>My Perspective Changed About Homeschooling When My Daughter Went to College

FIND ALL MY HOMESCHOOL POSTS HERE

Get My Best-Selling Homeschooling Books:

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead YourHomeschool

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool

Get My e-course: Bible Based Homeschooling: Learn how YOU can teach all subjects using the Bible!

Homeschool Consulting Appointment—>Book Now!

homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

Homeschool: More Than Books

As we approach the end of this journey for our oldest child, I have learned that homeschooling is more than books. Homeschooling is more than tests. Our kids are more than a curriculum.

From the early years on, I pored over curriculum catalogs, dreamed big dreams of what our days would look like, spent hours researching the best methods, and ultimately life proved much different than those early dreams.

Homeschooling is a way of life, and education is not limited to the quantification of a test grade. My kids have learned far beyond walls of a classroom.

That time we bought a house, sold our house, and then it all fell through? They learned about some real life there- mortgages, inspections, attorney reviews. All things I never knew about until I was an adult!

 

Those times learning how to raise animals here on our little hobby farm- building coops and barn stalls, planting and harvesting a garden, milking goats? Not just skills that involved science and math, but skills you can’t just learn about in a book. Caring for living creatures, showing compassion, responsibility, and dedication.

The times that we walked through deep sorrow and grief as tragedy struck in lives close to us? Difficult times, but life lessons for sure. Attending funerals, handling grief, being there for friends, and dealing with emotions as they drove us to our Savior’s arms. Lessons that can never be taught in a book.

The joys, the excitement, the highs…all experiences that must be lived. Not taught in a book.

Relationships that have been built. Bonds that have formed. Our family is a so tight-knit and close, all because we have lived each day together.

So while I remember those early years of thinking I need that perfect curriculum, that perfect set up, that perfect room, that perfect method. I see that the only perfect was really the life God was creating for us to live…and the learning as we went. Experience has after all been, the best teacher.

Read about our journey in my best-selling books:

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram- Ideal Homeschool

Get my devotional

Join the Community!~(FOR ALL WOMEN)

Listen to my podcast here

homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

Bible-Based Resources: Children’s Worship Bulletins Review

*I was compensated for this post in exchange for an honest review

A Bible-Based Resource for Your Family

As we prepare for our new school year, I am always on the hunt for Bible-based resources. I am thrilled today to share with you from Children’s Worship Bulletins. These Bible-based activities are perfect to incorporate into your Christian homeschool curriculum, and I think they will be especially helpful if you have little ones to keep busy while older ones work.

When Children’s Worship Bulletins contacted me to do this review, I was thrilled because we have already used these in my church for years and years. My kids grew up using these every Sunday! And I think they would be a HUGE asset to your homeschooling family, or simply to any family looking for some great Bible-based resources. I had no idea you were able to have access to this huge resource t home!

Children’s Worship Bulletins offers you unlimited access to the largest online library of activity sheets, built around passages from every book of the Bible ‚ÄĒ from both Old and New Testaments!

Simply go online, find the Scripture you need and download it in seconds.

Christian Homeschool Bible Based Activities Features and Benefits:

  • Over 1,500 bulletins to choose from.
  • Biblically based and educationally sound.
  • Search the library by Scripture, Topic or Lectionary reading.
  • Available in two age groups (ages 3-6 and ages 7+).
  • The teaching is clear, simple, and faithful to the Scriptures.
  • Weekly emails with our suggested bulletins arrive each Monday.
  • Age-appropriate activities with answer keys.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Protected by our money-back guarantee.

Children’s Worship Bulletins¬†provides additional material to complete or enhance your lessons.

These sheets are perfect to help children memorize a Scripture verse, practice their handwriting, practice reading and following directions, and more. In addition, they’re simple to do with multiple children of various age levels at the same time.

Each bulletin has four panels packed with Bible-based games … puzzles … word searches … seek-and-finds … dot-to-dots … and many more activities children love. They‚Äôre carefully designed using proven educational methods and endorsed by Christian educators and pastors of all denominations. Since they teach basic Scripture knowledge, not doctrine, they‚Äôre perfect for all Christian homeschool families.

Want to see samples? Visit Children’s Worship Bulletins here

I am also sharing some videos over on my Instagram today- so go check it out!

 

homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring- Be Equipped This Fall

With so many families turning to homeschooling this fall, I am thrilled to walk this journey with you.

HOMESCHOOL CONSULTING AND MENTORING

One of my greatest joys, as I have written for the homeschool community for over a decade and spoken across the country, is to connect with homeschooling families walking this journey. It is a privilege to speak with, pray with, and offer advice to so many of you. And many times, I have received several emails and inquiries that I just wish I could devote more time to and give more thorough advice, mentorship, and counsel than an email reply. Which is why I am thrilled to offer this brand new addition to my ministry here at Simply Living for Him.

Personal Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring

From a client:

‚ÄúI am grateful for a Spirit-filled woman like Karen who I could discuss homeschooling and life within this new adventure of hers. I have been homeschooling for seven years and felt like I needed some outside perspective for my life and homeschool. I chose Karen because I love her focus on living for Jesus and I desire that for my life. I opted for a one-hour session with her via FaceTime. The hour flew by. The format worked well because Karen came to the hour-long session well-prepared after reviewing a questionnaire I had previously filled out. She listened to my concerns and questions and provided feedback. She prayed for me, encouraged me, challenged me, and gave me some things to think and pray about. Her insight and perspective were such a blessing to me. I highly recommend the consultation! If I ever feel the need to have an outside perspective again, I would do another consultation again. It was a great investment for me and my family.‚ÄĚ ~consulting client

I am honored to have a chance to walk alongside you on this journey, whether you need a one time boost of encouragement or counsel or an ongoing relationship for accountability, planning, prayer, encouragement, and guidance.

How often do you wish that you had someone you could sit down with, who has walked this journey already, and picked their brain? Perhaps you are overwhelmed, burnt out, and running on empty. Maybe you need a fresh set of eyes on your plans and curriculum? Or just an outside perspective. Perhaps you just need a listening ear, a prayer warrior, or someone to help point you back to your goals and your focus. Maybe you can’t sort through the curriculum catalogs just one more time and need guidance in choosing the right fit. Whatever you are facing, I would love to join you as an encourager, mentor, and consultant.

This will not just be about choosing a curriculum, methods, plans, or even organization. Yes, I can, and will be available to help you with those things. But my goal first and foremost will always be to keep you focused on your God-given calling in homeschooling and seeking the Lord first in all you do. I will provide biblically-based encouragement.

‚ÄúAfter my call with Karen today I feel more at peace about beginning this homeschooling journey. It was like talking to a longtime friend, very real but also so encouraging. It helped to have someone to express my concerns, desires to and to ask my questions. I appreciate the openness and the relatability to Karen and her experience homeschooling. Well worth the time and money. I would recommend a call with her if for nothing more than to talk to this inspiring and God filled woman.‚ÄĚ ~consulting client

How Does it Work?

We will meet via Skype, phone, or in-person (limited availability depending on location.)  You can purchase a one time call or we have monthly plans. There is also an option for check-ins as needed. You will receive a questionnaire by email to fill out before our first meeting so I can get to know you and your needs first. This will help me begin to prepare a plan for our time together. You will decide if you need a one-time consultation or you would like to meet regularly.

‚ÄúKaren was a blessing to be able to spend time with. She patiently listened to my concerns and fears about home educating and parenting in general. She related to me by sharing similar experiences from her own life and encouraged me that everything is going to be okay when we follow Jesus. Most importantly for me is that she helped to give me a vision for the next few stages of my children‚Äôs lives. She wisely gave me some directives to do that will help me see more clearly the direction God is calling our family to go. I so appreciate her willingness to take the time to pour wisdom into the home educating families of today. What a privilege it was to spend one-on-one time with Karen. ‚ÄĚ ~ consulting client

Who is Karen DeBeus?

 

Karen is a nationally known speaker, author, and podcaster at Simply Living for Him. She is a veteran homeschooler who has graduated her first and is still schooling her three other children at home. She is the author of three best-selling homeschool books and has sold over 50,000 copies combined between them.

For years homeschooling moms have been encouraged by her talks at homeschooling conventions across the country and her weekly podcast Simply Living for Him. She has spoken at homeschooling events, women’s events, and most recently the Bible Family Conference in Washington, DC.

She has walked out this homeschooling journey in a real and authentic way online sharing with her readers the good, the bad, and everything in between. She believes when we link arms as homeschooling moms and keep Jesus at the center of all we do, we can move mountains in our homeschools!

Her mission will always be to point others to Jesus. She lives on her little hobby farm in rural NJ, where her family traded in the rat race to live more simply for the glory of God.

Who is this For?

Here are just some examples of someone who may benefit from Karen’s services:

  • New homeschoolers just starting out and needing direction and guidance
  • Homeschoolers needing accountability and encouragement
  • Homeschoolers that are feeling overwhelmed and need refocus
  • A mom looking for guidance from someone who has completed the homeschooling journey
  • Homeschoolers looking to simplify their homeschools and get rid of distractions (this is her specialty! Karen will help you get your focus back!)
  • Homeschoolers near the end of their journey and wanting to finish well
  • A homeschooler needing help in choosing curriculum (please note- Karen will help you make decisions and guide you, but will not put together a program for you.)
  • A mom of many wondering how to homeschool multiple ages
  • A homeschool mom looking for support and encouragement as well as prayer
  • A mom that wants a biblically-based outlook on homeschool and is willing to seek the Lord above all else

*Please note, There may be instances where Karen will need to point you to resources to equip you further such as HSLDA. Karen can not provide legal advice or be responsible for your homeschool choices, but will always do her best to use her experience and wisdom to point you to resources above what she can provide.

What Does it Cost?

Depending on your needs, we can accommodate a personalized plan.

Cost will range as follows: 

  • One-time-only¬†session via Skye or phone call ‚Äď 1 hour¬† (with initial email questionnaire):¬†$50
  • 3-month package of one hour sessions, monthly: $140
    ( After the first 3 months, you may wish to purchase an additional 3 months and will continue with the $140 rate in increments of 3 months.)
  • 1 Hour Session with 2 30 min check-ins¬†$ 90
  • ¬†Check-in meetings (30 min.- only available after the purchases of at least one-hour session):¬†$25

karen@simpylivingforhim.com or click here

Together, let’s walk this journey and purpose to make this journey less overwhelming and filled with more joy!