Enhancing Creativity & Relationships in the Seasons of Homeschooling

There are three seasons of homeschooling for each child. The earliest season is when your child begins kindergarten and ends their fifth grade. Next, there is the middle school season where your child may be gifted and is zooming ahead in some or all areas, or your child may be a late bloomer and needs a bit of remediation before he enters high school. (My son was remedial in middle school.)  Finally, your child walks into the High School years, which is the final season for both you and your child.

Note:  please don’t misunderstand me; your parenting does not end when your child graduates. It is, however, utterly different since now they are an adult. So that season is altogether different, and it can be wonderful. It will also be one where your prayers are the most significant influence.

Let’s return to kindergarten through the fifth-grade season. These years are bridge builders for the relationship between you and your child. The years spent listening to your child’s thoughts, ideas, and dreams in this season will yield great dividends in the next two seasons in your home.

For now, let’s focus on the “old dusty” educational research and child development findings that can influence how you navigate the brief eighteen years you have your child in your home.

You may ask: Why should it matter what season your child is in? Should my educational plan look different in each season? Great questions!

For starters, a strict curriculum in the early years is very satisfying for us as moms. Who doesn’t look forward to checking off the workbooks completed each day? It is very comforting. But why are we so convinced that these early workbooks will yield the results we want in the high school years? At night do you imagine you will ever see your child cradling his workbook as he heads to bed? Or do you hope and pray that he will catch the fire of beautiful literature and carry his rich living book off to bed with him?

Our children’s love for learning in the high school years can be cultivated early. A simple, fun project after a beautiful read-aloud in the early years can ignite the fire in your child to want more of this exciting adventure called education. Please do not buy the lie of our educational system that getting the curriculum workbooks done each and every year will result in a passionate desire to learn in the High School years. If you as an educator ignore what the research says, you might find that your child winds up being bored in high school or, even worse, burnt out.

Note:  I do not want to mislead you in any way. Each year I had educational goals for my children.

But I always made time in that first season to be creative and fun. Yes, I moved my children forward in the early years to memorize their math facts and know them inside and out. Yes, I taught my children to read. My children also learned to write in all sorts of different creative ways. But I also gave them mental breaks where reading aloud became the cornerstone of each day.

But the point is to remind you to make time for the fun, creativity, and, yes … mess with your kids in the early years. When they hit middle school and high school, those fun days will be increasingly rare.

However, I pray that a love of learning in the first phase will capture their hearts and minds and help sustain your relationship with them in the more rigid middle and high school years. This requires that you follow the research, see the seasons of education distinctly, and pour relational creativity and fun into the early years.

Written by Loretta Lambert

Perspective is Everything

When my son Jack was seventeen, he found himself in a job he loved. But although he was doing something he was gifted at and something that interested him immensely, it was hard. He was the youngest person on the team and sometimes was not listened to. He was the least experienced at work. It was a demanding position that allowed little room for error, and there were demands placed on him that were sometimes overwhelming, if not unfair, to him.

Are you frustrated with your job of homeschooling? Maybe you’re not educated, disorganized, and feeling alone.

Maybe you feel inept and unknowledgeable, and this worries you. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed, and you hate filling out paperwork, turning in your HSLDA card to us, or coming to parent meetings. Do you have a bad attitude about what God has you doing? Well, God has the answer for our bad attitudes, right in His Word! The apostle Paul said, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24. I encourage you to take stock of your attitude and ask yourself, “Who am I working for?”  If you’re working for someone else and trying to please them, or yourself, other than the Lord, your attitude could be reflecting the frustration you are feeling. But if you change your perspective and know that you have been divinely appointed to this job and if you do it all as if God is your boss, leaving the feelings of inadequacy, frustration, resentment at His feet, and do your best, then you will be rewarded!

Watching Mother Teresa care for people with their open sores, stinking bodies, and bleeding wounds, an observer said to her, “I wouldn’t do what you do for a million dollars.”  “Neither would I,” Mother Teresa smiled. Jon Courson’s Application Commentary

by Michelle Becerra

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