Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Love Your Husband

When I first looked at Titus 2:4 in my Bible, I thought, "Of course I love my husband!" But after a heart felt study through God's Word, I discovered that I was to hold my husband first in my heart after God. As a homeschool mom, sometimes we get our priorities out of order, I tend to put my children before my husband; but God has really been working on this momma's heart and here is how I have learned to nurture a heart of love, a heart prepared to support her husband "until death do us part".

#1 Pray for your husband daily.
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

As you invest your time, your heart, and your life in prayer for your husband, you will find it impossible to neglect the person you are praying for! Matthew 6:21 reads "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Focusing on your husband in prayer will help you focus on him in your heart, your thoughts, and your actions.

#2 Plan for him daily.
"The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness." Proverbs 21:5

As much as you and I desire to be a wife who lovingly supports her husband, such loving support only comes with planning. Plan special deeds of kindness - what can you do to make him feel special or what can you do to help lighten his load? Plan special dinners - what is his favorite dinner or dessert? Plan special time alone - plan a date night, even when money is tight, David and I will go to Dairy Queen for an ice cream and talk to our heart's content.

#3 Prepare for him daily.
"The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil." Proverbs 31:11

Preparing for your husband's homecoming each day shows him that he is a priority and you communicate your heart of love. Prepare the house - take a few minutes before your husband is due home to quickly pick up and have the children put away their toys. Prepare your appearance - freshen your makeup or put on a squirt of perfume. Prepare your greeting - stop what you are doing and greet him at the door - and prepare your words, what you say when your husband arrives home can set the tone for the entire evening.

#4 Please him.
"Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto her husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

Pleasing your husband means paying careful attention to his wants, his likes, and his dislikes - and this takes a little work. Put on your thinking cap and get to work showing your husband the love that is in your heart!

#5 Praise him.
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearer." Ephesians 4:29

This is a tough one for me, sometimes I speak before I think about my words, and I have hurt my husband by tearing him down and not lifting him up. We should praise our husbands in the privacy of our homes - thanking him for providing for our family. We should praise our husbands in public -  never speak critically or negatively about your husband to anyone - and let him hear you praise him in public!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Building Spelling Skills

Building Spelling Skills (Christian Liberty Press) is based on two fundamental premises of developing excellent spelling skills, this worktext series for grades 1-8 incorporates spelling/phonics rules but likewise utilizes exercises that employ word writing repetition. Since this series is from Christian Liberty Press, you can also count on two things: the content is biblically-based, and the books are a good value for the money.

Weekly lists of twenty words are covered in a series of daily lessons. Lesson activities are varied but include writing/identifying list words in sentences, reinforcing phonics rules, writing list words, taking pre and final tests. Books 1 and 2 are primarily concerned with phonetic concepts and simple prefixes and suffixes. Starting in Book 3 there is an increased emphasis on vocabulary development with activities involving the identifying and/or supplying list word definitions. Book 5 is more than a spelling book; it's a mini-encyclopedia of spelling. The first six units feature the names of major countries and cities of the world. The next two units focus on American states and capitals. Then follows units featuring the terms used in a wide variety of favorite subjects such as health, food, trees, arts, entertainment, travel, transportation, etc. Lessons in this book also require the alphabetizing of the list words. Book 6 is an examination of the great diversity and variety in spelling the rich sounds of English language. Book 7 and 8 are basic studies in etymology with Book 7 devoted to word-building with prefixes and suffixes while Book 8 is dedicated to word roots.

Gluten-Free Cream Soup

This recipe replaces a can of store-bought cream soup. When a recipe calls for Cream of Chicken Soup, I make this recipe with Chicken bouillon granules; and when a recipe calls for Cream of Mushroom Soup, I make this recipe with Beef bouillon granules.

1 cup milk (I use almond milk)
3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend
1 tablespoon oil (I use grapeseed oil)
1 teaspoon gluten-free bouillon granules (chicken or beef)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

In a saucepan, whisk the flour and milk. Add in the remaining ingredients and heat to a boil while whisking. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Learning Styles

If you’ve ever faced the frustration of trying to teach one of your children something and they just don’t seem to “get it”, it might be because you have not discovered their unique learning style. So how do you find out your child’s learning style? It is really quite simple, simply observe your child. Take notes if you have to and compare all your observations with the following information.

Auditory Learner
An auditory learner remembers things that they hear. Your child might be an auditory learner if:
·         Child repeats things out loud to self.
·         Child easily joins conversations that are in the same room even if they were not a part of the conversation.
·         Child remembers words of songs easily.
·         Child talks to books when reading and movies when watching.
·         Child understands instructions better after they have been read out loud.

Tactile Learner
A tactile learner remembers things that they can touch or feel. Your child might be a tactile learner if:
·         Child constantly has some part of their body moving.
·         Child finds it hard to sit still.
·         Child enjoys a lot of physical activity.
·         Child likes to touch and feel things.
·         Child is really good at tinkering and fixing things.

Visual Learner
A visual learner remembers things that they see. Your child might be a visual learner if:
·         Child remembers things better when they have seen them written down.
·         Child is really good at reading maps and charts.
·         Child understands instructions better when they can read them to self.
·         Child likes a lot of color and design.
·         Child can easily recall what they have seen.

It is important to know that each of us use a little of each learning style, but there is usually a dominant style that can be easily detected. When a child’s dominant learning style is known, they can learn the best way to approach a subject to help them learn and remember the material. Also, as a home school parent, you can learn how to teach in a manner that they can understand better.

Tips for Auditory Learners
·         Record classroom lectures.
·         Review vocabulary words by reading their definitions aloud.
·         Verbalize things you want to remember.
·         Read aloud whenever possible.
·         Study with a friend so you can discuss and hear the information.
·         Use familiar songs to help you memorize details by substituting the original words.
·         Ask your teacher to repeat something when you don’t understand it.

Tips for Tactile Learners
·         Write vocabulary words on an index card and walk around while reciting them.
·         Try to act out words or events with simple gestures that will aid your recall.
·         Use a highlighter for main ideas in your textbook to allow your hand to keep moving.
·         Try studying in different positions, and change positions frequently.
·         Take frequent, short breaks and do something that involves light activity.
·         Try writing key terms with your finger in the air, on a smooth surface or in the carpet.
·         Whenever possible, “do” your assignments, experiments and projects in an active way.

Tips for Visual Learners
·         Use a highlighter for main ideas and important facts in your textbook or notes.
·         Preview a chapter before reading it by looking at the titles, introductions, subtopics, key terms and conclusion/summary.
·         Pay attention to graphs, pictures and charts.
·         When listening to a lecture, always look at the speaker.
·         Sit close to the front of the classroom with a clear view of the teacher and the board.
·         Use graphic note-taking methods such as mapping or time lines.
·         Use flashcards to help you isolate and mentally “see” facts and their order.

L'BRI Pure n' Natural

L'BRI skin care, hair, body and wellness products include fresh aloe vera gel as the first ingredient, not water. We choose aloe because of its unique healing and rejuvenating properties and its ability to work synergistically with botanicals, anti-aging peptides, vitamins, and minerals that produce visible results. Visit www.naturalbeautywithsusan.lbri.com to request a free sample.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is a family favorite! My husband is the "Cookie Monster" and has to have something sweet every evening after dinner, so I bake a lot of cookies. Enjoy!

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to make balls of dough. and place balls 1 inch apart on parchment paper. Dip a water glass in sugar and use to press each cookie about 1/4 inch thick. Continue to dip the glass between each cookie.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will look puffy and edges will be barely starting to brown. Do not over cook. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Progeny Press Study Guides

Progeny Press Study Guides are written from a Christian perspective, these classical and award winning books are examined in the light of God's Word. Each guide includes:
  • a concise synopsis of the book
  • information about the book's author
  • background information pertinent to the story
  • suggestions for activities relating to the subject matter
  • introduction of literary terms
  • vocabulary exercises for each section of reading
  • comprehension, analysis, and application questions for each section of reading with discussion of related Biblical themes
  • a complete answer key and suggestions for further reading
Their brochure states "Our goal is to teach students of all ages to examine what they read, Christian or secular, classic or contemporary, and value the truth it contains as measured against the Bible." If you want to study great literature from a Christian perspective, here's your answer! If in doubt, try just one - I'm sure you'll be back for more!

Apples of Gold

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Have you ever taken stock of the words you speak? It is sat to say that most of us do not. This verse talks about words that are "fitly spoken". Do we think about our words before we say them?

David prayed in Psalm 141:3, "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." Let's follow David's example and as we ask for God's help to keep our words here are six things to ask ourselves.

A - Are my words ACCEPTABLE?
" Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

P - Are my words PLEASANT?
"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

P - Are my words PURE?
"All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward or perverse in them." Proverbs 8:8

L - Are my words LOVELY?
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

E - Are my words EDIFYING?
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

S Are my words SOFT?
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 15:1

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Curriculum the F-A-M-I-L-Y Way

Consider the following F-A-M-I-L-Y factors when choosing curriculum for your family.

Why are you homeschooling?
What things do you consider most important for your children to learn?

What do you believe about how children learn?
What is your vision for your homeschool?

What is your budget?
Which resources do you have more of?

How does your child learn?
What motivates your child to learn?

What season of life is your family in?
What special events - short term or long term - will be factors in your homeschooling?

What are your priorities and limitations?
How much structure do you need?

After you consider these F-A-M-I-L-Y factors, consider the following definitions and choose the best curriculum for your family.

Traditional Textbook - Information flows from teacher to student via reading materials followed by questions. Advantages: less planning on teacher's part, easy to chart scores, built-in tests. Disadvantages: less freedom and depth, potential boredom, short-term memory emphasis, grade-specific.

Unit Studies - Various subjects are organized around one topic with study materials coming from real books and usually incorporating hands-on activities. Advantages: children retain learning because of greater depth study, multiple grade levels. Disadvantages: high teacher planning and preparation time, harder to track subjects covered and accomplished.

Living Books - Reading real books rather than texts with integration of other subjects into the reading and utilizing narration as a means of feedback. Advantages: low-key learning allowing exploration of subjects. Disadvantages: difficult to track work or follow a traditional scope and sequence.

Classical - Organized around the trivium learning model - grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages, incorporates rigorous academics with strong, classical reading. Advantages: teaches thinking skills and develops independent learners. Disadvantages: controversial emphasis on ancient disciples and classics, grade-specific.

Umbrella Program - A school where student is enrolled; curriculum is either provided or planned; grading and record-keeping can be provided or optional.

Eclectic - Educational approach that draws from other approaches for various subjects [traditional (math), history (living books)].

Happy Homeschooling!