Reading Tips

There is also an AMAZING podcast called “read aloud revival” by Sarah McKenzie. She is a Christian homeschool mama and an incredible resource!

 

And these are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. Have snacks. Haha! They will sit longer with food present.
  2. Most of the time they won’t just sit quietly. My son is 5 and VERY active. He will literally be doing acrobatics while I’m reading. But you’ll be amazed at what they comprehend!
  3. You’ll be surprised at the level they can follow! I was getting lost, but found my 7 year old could recall details I couldn’t. She is also my lazy reader.
  4. Just keep going! Once it becomes a habit you’ll see the fruit. ❤️

The biggest blessing I’ve seen from reading aloud is how it knits our hearts together. We have inside jokes about Winnie The Pooh which was our first read aloud! Hope that helps! I’m no pro but I when we do this it’s great for everyone, myself included!

Rachel Montano-homeschool mom

Education With the End in Mind

 If parents want to provide the best form of education to their children, they must research the educational findings toward that end. To do otherwise would be like showing up with a tennis racket to be on the swim team. But, of course, the beautifully crafted tennis racket would not be sufficient to participate on the swim team, would it? No, it would not.

 

This is also the case with educating our young children. Consider an ill-informed curriculum. Each year we show up with a curriculum for each child and believe that the beautifully crafted curriculum will comprehensively cover what the child needs for their education. Why wouldn’t we believe this? But, unfortunately, it is the way so many view education. Without considering what the educational research says, we are in jeopardy of unconsciously viewing our elementary children as buckets that must be filled to the brim with workbooks, tests, and comprehension questions. No better than a tennis racket at a swimming pool.

 

Let’s consider the swimming pool and the goal we all share as educators and parents. Our prayer is that each child will fall in love with learning in the early years and stand tall in high school, motivated to do their best. One of our hopes and prayers is that as they develop over the first eighteen years, discovering their gifts and talents, that they will begin to see the direction God has for them after high school.

 

The burden of my heart is that we need to educate with the end in mind. Sooner or later, all of our children will grow up and head off into the world. By the time they reach high school, the way we are educated for the first eight or nine years should have blessed them with a love for learning and a passion for continuing to learn. The goal is that no child who reaches high school will be burned out on workbooks and ill-informed curricula. Instead, they will have energy in their learning and view laziness as something they must fight against. In addition, the excitement of knowledge will have been encouraged in the early years so consistently that they will have gained a work ethic to do the best they can do in their high school courses.

 

I hope to advance this conversation in future newsletter blurbs, discussing the differences in educating an elementary school student and a high school student. There are extreme differences, and these must be wrestled with as an educator. Our task in the early years is one of advertising well an incredible love for learning through the effective use of living books, creative projects, field trips, etc. We also want to move forward with wisdom regarding math. (Did you know that there are two elements about math that need to be determined: one is memorizing basic math facts and then learning the math concepts taught through the grades. Please do not say your child is bad at math if he has not over-learned the math facts. It would help if you simply began with the math facts first. I have many verifiable stories regarding this math process.)

 

Let me close with something for you to ponder as you educate your children. Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading published in 1985 states: “reading is a basic life skill. It is a cornerstone for a child’s success in school and, indeed, throughout life. Without the ability to read well, opportunities for personal fulfillment and job success inevitably will be lost. The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children” (Anderson et al., 1,23). So, let’s prioritize, over workbooks, reading aloud to our elementary school children!

By Loretta Lambert

 

Works Cited:

Anderson, Richard C., Elfreida H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, and Ian A. G. Wilkinson. Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. Champaign-Urbana: the University of Illinois, Center for the Study of Reading, 1985.

Qualities Needed in Trials

I am marinating in the Book of James.  WOW it’s a book of deep challenges and pure Ethics of Christianity.  James issues instructions more profusely than any other writer. In the short space of 108 verses there are 54 commands, imperative forms (not suggestions beloved brothers and sisters)  Family Challenge:  Go on a “Command Hunt” and record them all and see all The Lord does in and through you… Woot wooooooo.  Here are a few scriptures with a few thoughts:

Qualities Needed in Trials:

James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger/wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God”

Doers-Not Hearers Only:

James 1:21-22 ”Therefore lay aside ALL filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your life; But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves”……keep reading

James 1:26 “If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless”

I am sharing with you an acronym that has been incrediably helpful in making me PRAY/THINK BEFORE SPEAKING.  You can put this up in your school room and all memorize this as a family. ASK YOURSELF…

T= Is it True  (Phil 4:8, Prov 12:19)

H= Is it Helpful  (Eph 4:29)

I= Is it Inspiring  (Heb 3:13, Heb 10:23-24)

N= Is it Necessary  (Col 4:6, Matt 12:36)

K= Is it Kind  (Eph 4:31, Eph 4:15)

Application suggestions:

  1. Why do we always think we have to respond immediately in our marriages, with our kids, on the phone? Training our kiddos in righteousness, if we were angry or frustrated my husband and I would say, “we need a few minutes to calm down and pray and think so we handle this in a Godly manner and not a fleshly one with saying things we can’t take back”  (Side note – did we always do this NO but it was a habit we tried to develop)  We would then come together and talk it out and always pray together and ask for forgiveness.   This teaches our kids a lot about Godly conflict resolving.
  2. As the kids matured we also challenged them when we saw something that needed addressing we would sometimes ask them if they were ready to hear what we had to say. If they said yes, we proceeded and if they said no (which we encouraged honesty), we said you have a designated time to go get your heart right, pray, beg for forgiveness (Bhaaaaaa) and we then would come to the reasoning table of goodness.  Sometimes they did this with us also…..we were always growing and learning too.

Personal Growth:

What steps can you take to bridle your tongue?  Become a better listener to The Lord and others? Control your anger?  How can we be a better doer and hearer?

You can’t give what you don’t have…In the morning when I rise, noon day and evening “Give me Jesus”

Dear Lord, I pray for these precious parents in this very challenging time but also epic time to fill them with your wisdom and discernment.  Holy Spirit lead, guide and direct their steps. I pray that the JOY OF THE LORD would be their STRENGTH and that they would be in every moment seeing ALL the blessing they do have and not what they don’t have.  We love you Lord and thank you for your love and faithfulness in it all and through it all.  We need you Lord!!!   In Jesus Name, Amen

Mighty Warrior,

Annie Nauretz (Romans 8 ALL OF IT)
Retired Homeschool mom of two

 

Filling Your Cup

 by Loretta Lambert

From birth to approximately 6th grade, my goal was to advertise the joy of wonderful books by reading aloud each day. If the book bored us in the early years, it was tossed aside. I knew there would be plenty of time to enforce assigned reading in the late middle school and high school years.

But the early years are meant for falling in love with reading aloud. And why not fall in love with reading aloud in the early years? All of education involves or begins with reading. By the time our children reached late middle school, my goals were that they are motivated to take on a complete education and know that all I required was for each child to do their very best. I was well aware that some of my children had academic weaknesses but, the goal always remained:  do your best!

At this point, I need to ask all of you the same question I asked myself every new school year for twenty-three years: How am I doing in living the best I can live? This question is so broad that it is almost overwhelming to even begin to answer. So let’s focus on the most important aspect of our lives: our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

As the mom and teacher, you are the one person your kids will witness day in and day out. I am sixty years old and, I have learned that none of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup. Our children will know if we are faking it. It’s funny how our children can see right through us. On a horrible morning of homeschooling, my then twelve-year-old son blurted out, “Mom! Have you had your quiet time today? You haven’t been very kind this morning!” He called it! He was right. I had not stopped to give the day over to the Lord and, it showed!

So, as you walk into September, I extend to you the same challenge I carried with me over the decades of homeschooling! C.S. Lewis once wrote: “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.” How true is that statement for a mom! There will never be an easy time to make time to meet with our Savior. It will never be smooth sailing. Our daily lives have a way of screaming at us, “get to work!”

But I can absolutely say that our lives in Christ are more “caught than taught!”. What I mean is that a godly life lived before your children, because He has empowered you for the day, will be the greatest gift you can ever give to your children. Some of the notes I most treasure from my children are ones that have reminded me of this great truth. With tears in my eyes, I have opened notes from my four children thanking me for my growing relationship with God. My kids fully know how desperately I need my Savior and my time with Him each day. But they know I have a Savior that I pursue daily who saves me from all I need to be protected from!

 

“None of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup” Loretta Lambert

Welcome to Your New Family!

Dear Parents,

When I decided to start homeschooling our son Jack in 2001, there was little to no support for me in our area.  I had contacted several so-called support groups in the valley and was repeatedly told that I wasn’t able to join because I was a first-year homeschooler; I would take up too much of their time.  I’d most likely be too needy.  They didn’t have time for me, and so on.  Although I recognized the need to have a legal covering and knew there were homeschool groups in our area, it was impossible to find one to accept our family.  To be honest, I was livid; I thought this was ridiculous and I felt labeled like I now belonged to an elite group of high-maintenance outcasts that wasn’t worth anyone’s time.  Undeterred from the mission the Lord put before me, I pulled my son from 2nd grade private school and started schooling him.  It took two years until I found Revival Christian Academy, and when I did, I knew I was home!  I flung myself into the ministry and got involved.  I belonged to a small group of moms, and I forced myself to push beyond my comfort zone and reach out to others.  I somehow knew that to succeed at this, I needed a family to belong to that was doing the same thing.  So I made friends and immersed myself in homeschooling.

You see, I’ve been where you are.  I’ve been unsure, overwhelmed, ill-equipped and just straight up scared!  Scared that I was going to mess my kid up, scared I wasn’t going to be able to teach the concepts he needed to know, and scared that I wasn’t going to teach him enough.  There may be nothing we can say that can remove those feelings for you, but my hope is that by being here with fellow homeschool parents, both experienced and newly baptized into our family, you will find the support and comfort you need to successfully educate your kids as God has called you to do.  You are now part of a family.  A family that has been set apart and a family on a mission.  So welcome  to your school, to your new family and God bless you as you start your homeschool year!

In Christ,

Michelle