Fear the world or love the world: It’s your choice

Fear the world or love the world: It's your choice
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” ~ 1 John 4:18

You guys? It’s scary out there. We need only a glance at the day’s headlines for a reminder.

As parents raising children in these uncertain times, what should we do?

The way I see it, we only have two choices: raise our kids to fear the world, or…raise them to love it.

Fearing this world comes naturally in our hyper-connected society; it’s the default mode set out to take over our family’s thoughts. But it isn’t the only option.

If we want to cultivate a love for God’s world in our homes instead, we must act with intention first, so we don’t react with fear later.

We must infuse our children’s lives with purposeful meaning.

Now, today.

We must speak beauty and truth into their young spirits again and again, giving them something to cling to when fear tries to set up permanent residence in their minds.

Thankfully, the power of story can help us shield our kids from the world’s distractions and heaviness. Here’s how.
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On state testing and holding hummingbirds

On state testing and holding hummingbirds
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

Sometimes it’s like I sabotage myself. Have you ever been there? It’s like,

“Oh let’s see: I’m super tired and grumpy today, we’ve had a full week and we’re all a bit on edge this morning. Why don’t we go ahead and set the day on fire by doing our state achievement practice tests today?!

Even though I’ve never given you a bubble test before, I think I’ll just throw it at you with zero preparation and expect you to do well, even though you have Asperger’s and are incredibly intolerant to change or surprises or new situations. Sure, great idea!”

What in the name of all that is good made me think this was a reasonable idea?

With unfounded optimism I glanced over the test and smiled — it was all stuff he knew, so I figured he was more than prepared.

What he wasn’t prepared for is test-taking [Read more…]

On meeting a childhood hero (and all that happened next!)

On meeting a childhood hero (& what happened next!)
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high
Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow”

Some stories are decades in the making. This is one of them.

It starts the summer of 1985–the year I rode my bike every weekday morning to Mary C. Williams Elementary School in my hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.

I spent hours on a beanbag in the shady corner of the mid-grade novel shelves, curled up with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Pippi Longstocking. When the library closed at noon, I pedaled home again in time for back-to-back episodes of Reading Rainbow.

I look back on that summer as one of my happiest. I turned into a lifelong reader.

On the outside, it wasn’t a given that I’d become one. We didn’t have tons of books at home, and like many latchkey kids I watched a lot of television. But my mom took me to the library every third Monday, God bless her.

And with one flip of the dial I found LeVar Burton on PBS, always eager to read-aloud to me.
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On the quest for homeschool mindfulness

On the quest for homeschool mindfulness
Written by Caitlin Curley of My Little Poppies

So there is this thing that happens when you homeschool, but it doesn’t happen right away.

At least, it didn’t for me.

You see, I’m one of the unexpected homeschoolers. I landed here swiftly and without warning and it took a good long while for me to adjust to our new normal.

But, eventually, it starts to happen.

At first, it’s subtle.

homeschool mindfulness d

Maybe you ease up on your planning or your record keeping.

Maybe you stop relentlessly crossing off all those to-dos in your mind.

Maybe you even lighten up on yourself and concede that you’re doing a pretty good job at this homeschooling thing, most of the time.

After a little while, during a moment of clarity, you see that you have relaxed into homeschooling. You have, for the most part, shaken off the public school mindset. You’ve learned firsthand that school and learning are two entirely different things and one can exist without the other.

You’ve realized that learning happens all the time when you relax and let it.

And, boy, does that feel good. Because it gives you permission to take everything down a notch or two and just breathe.

homeschool mindfulness 5

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3 questions to carry you through chaotic seasons

Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

always think “normal life” is just around the corner. I tell myself, “As soon as we get through the holiday months, or this sickness, or the busy season, or …”

But it seems there’s always something.  I keep waiting for normal, in vain.

We’re coming out of one particularly crazy time. In about 6 weeks’ time I had four speaking events, we bought a house, I got sick for three weeks, then we packed up to move, then I finished writing a book, then our house was delayed so we moved in with my parents for a week, then we went on an already-scheduled family vacation to a remote hot-spot where we all got sick again and I spent the first few days taking care of a particularly ill little one.

In fact, I’m typing these words while perched precariously on a balcony, the only place I can get our internet hot-spot to function. I’m occasionally interrupted and respond in broken-Spanish phrases to those around me. Let’s just say this isn’t my typical writing routine!

Through this chaotic season, I’ve found myself returning to three simple questions. They’ve proven a steadying anchor for us through boxes and moves and sickness and travel. When our food, company, location, feelings, and surroundings have been in constant flux, these questions have helped me return to what really matters.

What I love is, these goals are attainable no matter how hectic a day or season may be. 

So if you also find yourself in a chaotic season where normalcy is a distant-dream, perhaps these simple questions can anchor your homeschooling efforts and encourage your soul as well. They are:
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