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family, homeschool, it's not always easy, January

The January Doldrums…

My mom and I have a big joke about are disdain for the month of January.  It’s cold, it’s dark, there’s no major holidays, Christmas is over, Spring is still a little far away…it’s just January.  All 31 days of it!  

This January started out pretty well however.  Our routine after the New Year was going smoothly.  Then yesterday it started…what nearly every homeschooling family goes through in January…a little bit of that down feeling. It’s been COLD here.  It’s been a little monotonous at times.  Spring seems so far away…it’s kind of like an in-between time…the excitement of Christmas is behind us and there’s nothing to look forward to right now.

You know what?  We don’t’ have to have something to always look forward to.  Sometimes God wants us to just “be.”  And maybe that’s what January is for.  To be nestled inside for bit.  To enjoy each other without distractions.  

Most homeschool families will say January and February are the hardest months.  But as I have seen each year, it passes, we get through it, and then before we know it spring is here and everyone is excited for good weather, gardening, and all the fun.  All of a sudden it’s time to look at curriculum for next year!

I want other homeschooling moms to realize, not everyday is PERFECT!  We all go through these doldrums whether it happens to you in January or any other month.  It says in 2 Corinthians 19 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Amen to that! Because I have HIM, I am strong.  He takes my weakness and makes me strong.  Because of HIS grace, I will get through.

Homeschooling is a lot of work.  Sometimes the children do not feel like doing their work.  Their attitudes are not cheerful.  It is NOT always perfect.  Overall the good days do outweigh the bad, but thankfully on those bad days, I have JESUS CHRIST! I don’t know how people do it without HIM.

The most important thing to remember is why we are doing this.  We chose homeschooling in part for the family time it allows us, for the character it builds, and for the relationships it fosters.  So when the kids are feeling like work is drudgery, we can close the books, and head outside for a winter scavenger hunt (what we did yesterday to help cure the doldrums)  Everyday is learning.  Life is a classroom!  The acamdemics are important, but nothing is more important than building character and godly children.  Learning does not happen when children feel the drudgery and the forced workbooks….as most public schol kids can attest to.  Thankfully, at home, we have the ability to learn ’round the clock, and the ability to change things up a bit when the going gets tough.

I thank God again for His grace each day to allow me to teach my children.  The life lessons learned are often just as good for them as they are for me…

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


clubhouse, family, fun

A kid and a clubhouse…

What can be better than a clubhouse when you’re a kid?  Nothing…  A private place, a place of your own, a place to go when you need to be alone! (with 4 kids in the house and 2 adults, that is a much needed place sometimes!)  This week as part of our new schedule, I have instilled “alone time” in the afternoons.  When Ethan takes his afternoon nap, I have instructed the kids that they will also have quiet time that is to be alone time.  I used to try and have them do quiet things during the afternoon after school work was complete.  Yet it didn’t always happen and somehow things were still loud! However this time, I am really making a point of a regular routine of quietness and time alone.  I feel it is important for the kids to have some alone time away from each other since they are together almost ALL of  the time!

Well it has worked out great.  For me knowing that if I can make it until about 2 pm, I WILL have some quiet.  That is enough to get me through a baby hanging on my leg while John and I make playdough, while Grace is practicing violin in my ear, and Luke is trying to explain his latest Lego creation to me.  Sometimes when the noise level gets high and you feel like you are just about to break, all it takes is a glimpse ahead, knowing that I will get a few minutes to catch up on some things or take a coffee break in quietness…

The kids loved the idea.  Grace transformed her closet into a clubhouse.  She has a pretty large double closet, so she and the boys emptied it out, pushed all her clothes aside,  and they decorated the walls, stacked a library of books, and put in craft supplies.  Dolls and stuffed animals and blankets are in there too.   There are also several board games!  Grace has loved using her alone time to go to her special place and read.  When alone time is over, Luke and John go in there to play board games or color. It is wonderful!

This is just another reason to love homeschooling…to let kids be kids.  To let them learn who they are when they are with themselves.  To also have fun together without much extra stimulation;  just books, crafts, and a special place to go.  Homeschooling fosters relationships between siblings rather than pitting them against each other. They have to learn to get along since they are with each other so much.  They are becoming each other’s best friend.  It is truly a gift.

The Clubhouse
The “library”

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


2009, family, fun

A Look Back at 2009…

This has been a really good year for our family.  We have had many ups and downs, but mostly ups, and for that I am grateful!

This year we adjusted to having 4 children.  It was a very easy adjustment and almost seamless.  Ethan came along and just fit right in.  We had some scares in the beginning when he wasn’t gaining weight properly, but after that was resolved, things were really easy!  Having the other three children be old enough to help out has made things so much easier.  When I had the first three children it seemed like they were all little at once! After all, my oldest was 3 turning 4 when I had my third.  This time I really felt like I enjoyed my newborn, cuddled him more, and enjoyed every minute with him. I had my little helpers each day and it wasn’t overwhelming.  I am so blessed!

This year we also had John home with us for school instead of going to preschool outside the home.  That has been a great experience.  John is now four, almost five, and has always been my most challenging child.  He is full of energy, as well as being strong willed.  We are working on channelling that will for good and are confident he will use that spirit one day to do great things.  Having him home has meant “a little” less running around each day, and more time to focus on school as a family.  Just before Christmas I also decided to “promote” John to kindergarten.  We figure that it would only benefit him to get a full year and half out of kindergarten.  He is very bright and was ready to move on little bit with schooling.  The majority of his “work” is still fun, playing and exploring, but I did  start him on the Explode the Code Primer books...the other kids did these in kindergarten.  He was very excited about them and is doing great!  His handwriting skills are excellent, and when he is focused on work, he works hard!  I look forward to seeing him blossom over the next year!


Another highlight of 2009 also was our huge yard sale for World Vision!  We are so humbled to have been a part of that amazing day.  God worked mightily that day, and having the children see that God blessed our endeavors was a great lesson!

This past year Luke also became immensely interested in Legos.  He went to robotics camp over the summer, and has been asking for new Lego sets ever since.  He received several for Christmas and has already finished some.  He also received a power functions set to apply some of his robotics.  We have formed a Lego team for the Junior First Lego League with another homeschooling family and he is very excited about it!  It is so good to see Luke using that brilliant mind God gave him!


A big moment for Grace this year was her solo at church.  She sings in the church choir, and one week was asked to sing a song during service by herself.  At first I though she would be just singing the intro and the band would be joining her in the rest, but that morning we realized she would do the whole thing herself.  The way she sang, with poise and grace was true worship.  She was never nervous, and never prideful.  Just excited to sing for the Lord, with true childlike faith!

Our biggest highlight this year was our family’s trip to Plymouth.  God was so good to us on that trip.  From start to finish it was amazing!  Definitely our favorite memory this year!

I pray that whatever 2010 holds for us, we always keep God first, and remain confident in His plans for our lives.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved