Grace and Truth ~ 3 Gifts that Will Change Your Kids

Here is this week’s Grace and Truth ~ 3 Gifts that Will Change Your Kids

3GiftsthatWIllChangeYourKidsI am a huge fan of becoming a student of your child’s heart – to know them so intimately that they are confident in your love for them…and God’s love for them.  That’s why I appreciated Angela’s post 3 Gifts that Will Change Your Kids.  I loved her 3 gifts – they are gifts that will be with our kids for the rest of their lives.  Hop on over to Angela’s site to read her post. 

 

Angela, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!   

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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How To Root Your Teen Daughter’s Heart In God’s Word

I remember the day she was born…so small and dependent on me to care for her.  I wondered if I’d be able to give her everything she needed.  Would I be able to love her the way I knew God wanted me to?  Would I teach her about God’s ways enough?  Enough to survive this cruel world that seems to have heartache at every turn?  That was 15 years ago and I am seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in her life.  I see it every single day.  I see how she loves the Lord and longs to be close to Him.  This did not happen by accident or by osmosis as a Christian family.  Are you wondering How To Root Your Teen Daughter’s Heart In God’s Word?  

**I will be going live on Facebook today with my daughter, Sarah, if you’d like to join us!  May 19, 2016 at 1pm PST.  See video at the end of this post!**

As a Christian parent, we want our kids to grow close to God and have their own relationship with Him. But how do we go about doing that? I enlisted the help of my teen daughter in writing this post to help give you some ideas. How To Root Your Teen Daughter's Heart In God's Word

I am writing this post with my daughter, Sarah.  She is going to offer her insight as a teen girl.  Her direct comments will be in teal color.  Here are the things she has found helpful in growing her faith as a teen in our culture. Read More

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The Quest For A Great Writing Program

One of the most challenging quests in the homeschooling realm is finding a strong writing program that lines up with my philosophy of writing and that my kids love.  I finally admitted defeat in my feeble attempts and decided to just make my own writing program.  I found a few resources here and there and used them throughout the year.  I was on The Quest For A Great Writing Program.  Then, through the Build Your Bundle program, I was given the opportunity to review WriteShop Level D which was just right for my youngest daughter.  Here is my review of this writing program.

**I will be doing a Facebook Live video for this review today (May 18) at about 2:30 (PST).  My daughter will be joining me!  Thanks for joining me – the video is posted below**

Are you searching for the elusive writing program that your kids will enjoy? I was, too until I found WriteShop. I love this program. Find out why!

My youngest daughter loves to write, she is gifted in this area.  Right now, she is working on her own novel and her goal is to write 20,000 words.  

She is 10.  

Because of her giftedness in this area, she quickly grows bored of redundant worksheets and exercises she either knows already or because she learned the concept easily, making the 20+ questions on the worksheet annoying and frustrating for her.  As I read through the teacher manual of WriteShop, I started to feel excited…maybe, just maybe this would be a simple program that she’d enjoy working through, therefore reducing the ‘fight’ to get her to complete her assignments…did I mention she is also very strong-willed?   Read More

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When You Need To Rekindle The Romance

I have noticed that there are some days where I just need to ‘connect’ with my man…if you know what I mean.  I find that I am in a much better mood when my needs have been met.  I am more relaxed and at peace.  I crave that special connection with Marcus because it is so intimate.  I don’t think God would have it any other way.  He created sex for more than only procreation.  It is a sacred act between a husband and wife – and I believe it is deeply spiritual.  Our hearts connect and we are as physically close as to people can get.  We are both vulnerable to each other.  But sometimes life happens and this gets put on the back burner.  We lose our passion.  We are tired.  We don’t feel sexy enough…the list could go on and on.  Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of demons to overcome in this area with childhood sexual abuse and the lie of not being ‘sexy’.  Let’s talk about When You Need To Rekindle The Romance.

Do you struggle with time for intimacy with your spouse? Or maybe you are just plain tired? When You Need To Rekindle The Romance

When my son was born, this part of life was very difficult.  Without going into too much detail, my son’s shoulders did considerable damage to my body.  Almost 6 months passed by before I was able to do anything without too much pain.  I felt awful about myself and I started to believe that my hubby was so disappointed in me – he was so good to pick up on this and reassure me.  But, ladies, let’s be honest…this area in married life isn’t always a bed of roses 😉  However, this just means that we need to do a bit of work.  Here are a few suggestions that will help. 

Pray!

Pray over intimacy in your marriage.  I can’t tell you how this does wonders for intimacy!  Whatever the problem may be – turn to God in prayer.  Maybe you are annoyed with your spouse…oh, yeah, I know all about this!  When I pray about how I am feeling, God is faithful to soften my heart.  Maybe there is some wounding that is preventing you from being intimate with your man.  Pray.  Pray hard.  I am no stranger to deep wounding – both from my childhood and in marriage – and so much more.  Pray for healing in your heart.  

Talk

Talk to your hubby about your struggles.  Let him know what is going on with you so that he can pray for you, support you and encourage you.  If you are tired, maybe you can ask him to help out in a specific area like putting the kids to bed or finishing up the laundry (that will mean you will need to let go of the laundry being done the right way your way – if I can do it, so can you).  If he has hurt your feelings, tell him in a gracious manner.  I’ve had to do this many times because my hubby was totally oblivious to the fact that he has hurt me!  They aren’t mind readers, ladies!

If he has hurt your feelings, tell him in a gracious manner.  I’ve had to do this many times because my hubby was totally oblivious to the fact that he has hurt me!  They aren’t mind readers, ladies!

Play!

Rekindling Romance eKitSometimes we just need to have a bit of fun.  There have been times when I just needed to temporarily forget about my troubles and enjoy my hubby (the benefit of this is that I usually begin to see the situation in a new perspective afterward…maybe that or I am just happier…not really sure which).  


Sometimes we may need a bit of help in being playful.  That’s why I love this resource by Jami Balmet of Homemaking Ministries.  Her Rekindling Romance eKit has fantastic ideas and printables to use for your play time!  You can get your hands on this resource as a part of the homemaking bundle with the Build Your Bundle Sale happening now – and ladies, these ain’t your momma’s homemaking books because of this steamy romance kit!  HAHA!  Scroll down a bit further for a sneak peek of what’s included.

One Week Only - Ends 5/23/16 - Save 93% on the Homemaking Bundle

What do you get in this kit?  Well…

Rekindling Romance eKit PrintedThere’s a cute love coupon book – I love the font on these!  The ideas are really great – dinner at a restaurant of choice, movie of choice…so, not just bedroom related 😆 

A printable sheet of ideas to make up a romance gift basket – again, such great ideas for items to put into the basket!

A Newlywed Strip game…you don’t need to be newlyweds to play!  My hubby will write funny responses for the questions, which gets me laughing.  He loves to make me laugh.  Laughter creates intimacy.

A blank booklet template for writing the reasons I love my hubby on.  Or he can write a set for me.  Quite a few years back, I wrote a bunch of love notes for my hubby and posted them around the house.  He absolutely LOVED it.  So, love notes are always a hit around here!

A booklet that has beautiful and encouraging marriage quotes.  We all need to be encouraged in our marriages, don’t we?  With so much pitted against Godly marriages, it helps to know that there are voices out there rooting for us.

Blank templates to make up you own scavenger hunt…oh, boy, this will be super fun!  Prepare beforehand and set it up when he is gone and the kids are away (or in bed – be creative – send him for a can of whipping cream to get him out of the house).  

An invitation to a romantic evening in – I love this idea.  It comes with cute tickets, too.

A printable CD cover to make your own romantic CD.  My hubby and I have done this in the past, too.  Always lots of fun.  

Isn’t this a fabulous resource package?  So many great ideas included and I love the color scheme.  

This bundle has several great looking resources included in it, but if you get it and use only this resource, there will be 2 very happy, happy, happy people in your house!  If you missed getting this resource in the Build Your Bundle Sale, hop on over to Jami’s site and get her special marriage bundle – the other resources in this bundle look equally fantastic.   

Do you struggle with time for intimacy with your spouse? Or maybe you are just plain tired? When You Need To Rekindle The Romance

 

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When Education And God Collide

It really does not make sense to me.  Not one little bit.  I don’t hear it very often, but when I do I can’t fathom separating the two.  The notion has become so foreign to me.  I am talking about taking God and His Word out of education and setting it all on its own.  And I believe that when we separate the two with our kids, they grow up with a false understanding that Sundays are reserved for God while the rest of the week and their lives are their own to do with as they wish.  What happens, though, When Education And God Collide?  

What is your approach to combining God's word and your homeschool? Do you keep them separate? Or do you see the importance of intertwining the 2? When Education and God Collide

One of the things I love about home education is that I can immerse my children – and myself – in God’s Word.  If you have read many of my homeschooling or parenting posts, you will know that I take the passage in Deuteronomy to heart.  I believe God intends for us to teach our children His promises, laws, hope, assurances, wisdom, admonishments…every bit of His Word every single day.  I don’t think His idea was to have Bible lessons for 30 minutes a day or to rely on the Sunday School teacher to teach our kids the truth.  That’s not enough.   Read More

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6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children

I was browsing the aquarium gift shop with my kids happily following along when we were almost plowed over my two young boys about 9 years-old running through the store, screeching.  I looked around to see if a responsible parent would stop them before they ran by me again.  No such parent was in sight…the mischievous boys zipped by me again, careless and oblivious to other shoppers.  It really was appalling behavior, conduct I’ve never seen in my own children…because they always knew there would be serious consequences if they even attempted anything so ill-disciplined.

Do you struggle with your child's behavior? Are you pulling out your hair wondering why they won't obey? In this post, I discuss 6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children for Christian parenting.

Now, my children are not perfect…far from it.  But they have always known that running around a store in such a manner would not be tolerated by me.  Here are some things we did in order to train our children how to behave appropriately during outings.  

Expecting Expectations

Whenever I took my kids out, we went over expectations of behavior before arriving at our destination.  We would talk about staying near me at all times and absolutely no whining.  We would talk about the consequences of not behaving when we were out.  One time, I had to leave my shopping cart full of groceries in order to take my child to the car for a discussion.  Eventually, my kids were so familiar with the expectations that I would have them tell me what the behavior expectations will be.  Doing this helps them to take ownership of their choices.  

fruit spiritPaul tells us in Galatians the expectations of a believers behavior through the Fruit of the Spirit.  We are expected to show love and kindness.  We are counted on to have self-control!  Are these not the same expectations we ought to be instilling into our children?  If so, then we better make sure we are living by the same expectations.

As followers of Christ, there are certain expectations for us…we are expected to live holy lives.  Our children are never to young to begin understanding this truth. 

Rewarding the Good Times

When they did behave well, I made sure they knew how proud of them I was.  Sometimes I’d buy them a special treat or promise them something fun when we got home.  I would also make sure my husband found out their good behavior that day.  

I often explained to the kids that when they are well-behaved on outings, it makes incredibly happy to take them on outings more often.  This not only encourages the good behavior, but it also helps them to take ownership of their behavior and choices.   

Proactive Is Key

Be proactive instead of reactive.  This means you don’t wait until there is a problem to teach and admonish.  Begin teaching good character habits early on.  Have regular discussions on what it looks like to respect and honor others above themselves.  How can we show love and kindness to those around us?  What does self-control look like?  

Being proactive will help to prevent many problems later on.

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage 

I am a huge believer in building kids up before the need for discipline arises.  Let them know you believe that they can make good choices.  Sometimes it is so hard to make the right choice – yes, even for us adults.  But it sure helps when we know someone has our back, right?  Make sure your child knows you are cheering him on.    

Everyone needs a ‘second chance’ – or more.  We all mess up.  It is good to know that there is a way back when we have made mistakes.  Encourage your child with something like, “You made the wrong choice this time but I am confident that you will make a better one next time.”  There is always room for redemption.  Don’t go on and on and on about it (believe me, it doesn’t work…I’ve tried).  Let them experience forgiveness and redemption.  

Let Them Be Responsible

Let them be responsible for their behavior.  Don’t make excuses for them.  Every single parent has to deal with misbehavior.  It happens.  It is part of raising kids.  Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed – just deal with the misbehavior appropriately and move on.  They made the choice, therefore, they need to be responsible for it.  

It’s A Heart Issue

Lastly, remember that misbehavior is a heart issue.  There is only one heart changer that I know, our Heavenly Father.  And He longs to be the Abba Father of our children.  Through prayer, hearts change.  Through meditating on His Word, hearts are healed and redeemed.  Through worship, hearts are made new.  Jesus promises to give us a heart of flesh in place of our hearts of stone.  This isn’t any different for our children.  A changed heart is a heart that rests at the feet of Jesus.  Our kids are never to young to  sit at His feet.   

Back At The Gift Shop

My husband tried to tell them to stop running, but they refused to listen.  One of the employees finally had to step in after these boys were throwing several stuffed toys around the store – and I mean from one end to the other.  Armfuls of stuffed toys were being placed back on the shelves as fast as these boys were taking them off and hurling them throughout the store.  One employee told them to stop running and that if they hadn’t purchased the items, then they couldn’t take them out of the store.  With one last toss, they ran out of the shop…parents still nowhere to be found and staff were left to clean up the havoc.  

As my children witnessed this event, they stood in disbelief and disgust that these boys behaved so badly.  They also expressed their gratitude that we never allowed such behavior from them.  They were thankful for our parental discipline now even though they likely did not years ago when we would enforce it!    

Maybe you are looking for some resources to help you parent and develop Godly character in your children.  This Character Bundle through Build Your Bundle has excellent material to help you teach your kids.  You don’t have to be a homeschooler to take advantage of this incredible deal.  I have used “A Content Heart” with two of my kids and they thoroughly enjoyed it!  And we love “The Picture Smart Bible” – learning Bible stories and intentional coloring!  And then, of course, there is my parenting book in this bundle.  Personally, I am really looking forward to getting my hands on “Philippians in 28 Weeks”, the “Character Traits” series and the “Honor Club” resource.  Which resource do you think you’d use first?

Available only until May 23!

One Week Only - Ends 5/23/16 - Save 92% on the Character Bundle

Did Someone Say Starbucks?!?!

Enter to win a $25 Starbucks gift card!  And a greeting card to send to a loved one!

Do you struggle with your child's behavior? Are you pulling out your hair wondering why they won't obey? In this post, I discuss 6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children for Christian parenting.

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5 Habits Of The Effective Woman Of God

You don’t see her very often, but when you do, you can’t take your eyes off of her.  You see it in the way she carries herself, the way she speaks, in her gorgeous smile.  You tend to think that she has an easy life.  I mean, how else can she be so free?  How else can she be so effective in living the life we are called to live as Christians?  Dear sister, I am here to tell you that there are 5 Habits Of The Effective Woman Of God.  

What does it mean to you to be an effective woman of God? Does the possibility of becoming one excite you? Does the thought give you hope? 5 Habits Of The Effective Woman Of God.

What does it mean to you to be an effective woman of God?  Does that thought terrify you?  Do you doubt you can be one of those inspiring women?  Or does the possibility excite you?  Does the thought give you hope?  Do you begin to dream again?  I hope and pray that you will be encouraged by this post. 

She Guards Her Heart

Proverbs 4:23We stop being effective when lies from our enemy enter our hearts.  When they take root and suffocate the truth that the Holy Spirit has planted and nurtured.  Those lies are like life sucking weeds.  We need to guard our hearts against such lies.  We must not allow them to live there.    

At all cost, we must keep our hearts protect and defended against lies.  Because everything we do comes from our hearts.  If our hearts are hardened and broken from wounds, lies, shame and anything else, what do you think will come out of it?  Harsh words.  Critical spirits.  Anxiety.  Brokenness.  

Ezekiel 36 25-27But, God promises that He will give us a new heart, one of flesh – yes, it is vulnerable and breakable, but what flows from a heart of flesh is the most incredible thing. 

Life flows from this heart.  

Life that can be imparted to others who desperately need it. 

Living a life that is effective for God requires a heart of flesh. 

She Chooses To Live In Freedom

I have talked a lot about living in freedom on this blog.  It is a topic that is very dear to my heart because I’ve had to fight so hard for my own freedom…and I am still fighting for it.    

Freedom is a choice we must make.  We must turn to our Savior for our freedom.  For His redemption and restoration.  This isn’t easy as it forces us to look at our wounds instead of ignoring them.  But I can tell you that it is so worth it.  What area would you like to experience freedom in?  Share in the comments below so I can pray for you.     

What area would you like to experience freedom in?  Share in the comments below so I can pray for you.  I want freedom in having my picture taken.  I hope to blog about that later on, perhaps going through the process of taking action in this area to gain freedom.  But that is the area for me.  

Living a life that is effective for God requires choosing to live in freedom. 

She Wears Her Armor & She Chooses To Fight

Being an effective woman of God comes with a price.  And it’s a price not many are willing to pay.  You see, when we have been in bondage, our enemy has gained ground in our lives – and in some of us, a lot of ground.  He has staked a claim.  And he won’t revoke his claim without a fight.  Do you know why?  

If the enemy hasn’t had a chance to gain much ground in the heart of a woman of God, he will do everything he can to wreak havoc in her life, in her relationships, in her finances, in her heart.  He is ready for a fight.  But many times, we aren’t.  We are not prepared.  We don’t recognize the battle going on for what it is.  

In order to be an effective woman of God, we must realize the spiritual battle that we are in, put on our armor and choose to fight.  

Living a life that is effective for God requires putting on our armor daily.

She Knows Who She Is…And Whose She Is

John 10 10Do you know why our enemy is so hellbent on destroying us?  

It is because he fears the holy havoc free women of God will have on his turf

Havoc is defined as a situation in which there is much destruction or confusion.  He knows what your freedom and victory will do in someone else’s life!  He knows that once you are free, you will not be able to keep it to yourself – just like the woman at the well – she had to go and tell everyone about her new found freedom.  It is like a ripple effect.  Your story will have a great impact on eternity.        

Your story will have a great impact on eternity.  Your freedom and abundant life will change lives!  I know this from my own experience!  I love the Lord of the Rings series.        

I love the Lord of the Rings series.  There is so much in it that resonates within my heart.  I particularly love the scene between Aragorn and Eowyn.  Eowyn is in the Great Hall when she pulls out her sword and begins to practice.  She is preparing for battle.  A great battle.          

Watch the scene here – hear the words spoken:

My dear sister, You are the daughter of the Most High King, a shield maiden of Heaven. Your fate will not be to live the rest of your life in a cage – in bondage – without valor or courage.  Know who you are and to whom you belong…

Living a life that is effective for God requires us to know whom our identity in Christ.

She Chooses To Bring Light Into Darkness

rescue peoplePart of becoming free and effective is sharing our stories with others.  We love hearing other people’s stories.  Especially stories of liberation, redemption and of how something so evil and horrible can be turned into something so beautiful and God-glorifying.  It is such stories that bring hope and life.

God uses rescued people to rescue people.

This is so true.  He does the rescuing, but He uses His story of our lives to do it.  He has used my story to bring Light and Life to the broken and desolate.

Living a life that is effective for God requires us to bring His Light in the darkness.

The mess of our lives brings glory to God when we allow Him to clean it up.

He is the rebuilder of brokenness and the Restorer of things lost.  

God wants us to live in freedom because that is when we are most effective in His kingdom!

I pray that you will have the courage to take those chains off and live free.  To be an effective woman of God.

To help you remember these truths, I have created a lovely printable for you to save to your computer and print off.

Effective Woman of God

This printable was created for my blog post “5 Habits of the Effective Woman Of God”.

What does it mean to you to be an effective woman of God? Does the possibility of becoming one excite you? Does the thought give you hope? 5 Habits Of The Effective Woman Of God.

 

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Photo Credit:Copyright: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo

Don’t forget to get your coupon for the bundle sale starting May 16!  Below is a photo of everything in the Bundle of Bonuses – which is FREE with ANY purchase!  Click below for coupon and more details!

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Have You Lost Your Homeschool Joy?

I am guest posting over at A Little R & R today!  This is my monthly contributor post!  This one will be a 2-part series of getting that Joy back in your homeschool.  Here is an excerpt:

It felt like a constant fight to get my kids to do their school work – almost every single day.  I would find myself becoming increasingly frustrated to the point of yelling at my kids to get back to work.  Then the feelings of guilt would wash in…I blew it again.  My kids were left feeling discouraged and like failures.  Actually, we all felt that way.  This isn’t what I wanted my homeschool to look like.  This wasn’t what I had dreamed of.  And I am sure it isn’t what they wanted either.  So, why are we fighting this?  How did it become so…joyless?  We had lost joy in homeschool.  Well, I learned a few things along the way…important things I want to share with you.  This post is for when you need joy in your homeschool.

Sometimes it can be so hard to homeschool. We start to yell and beg our kids to get their work done. Here are a couple of reasons why this might be. Have You Lost Your Homeschool Joy?

To read more, head over to A Little R & R.

Sometimes it can be so hard to homeschool. We start to yell and beg our kids to get their work done. Here are a couple of reasons why this might be. Have You Lost Your Homeschool Joy?

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Bundle of Bonuses!

If you haven’t gotten your coupon for the big curriculum sale next week, get it now.  Below is a sneak peek at the Bundle of Bonuses you get with any purchase!  I think “A Child’s Geography” will be perfect for my son next year – he has used this series before and he enjoyed it.  I’d like to read the “Homeschooling With Dyslexia” eBook and the “Wonderfully Made” lapbook sounds like a great idea for my youngest!  Click the image below to get your coupon and to enter the contest for ALL of the bundles!

 

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Grace and Truth ~ Gift Of Waiting

13183057_10154416122866992_76830177_nHere is this week’s Grace and Truth ~ Gift Of Waiting…

Speaking of waiting…I mentioned last week that I had the chance to meet a blogging friend!  On Sunday, I met Dawn Klinge from Above the Waves!  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was!  It truly was the highlight of our little family getaway…enjoying fresh oysters was a distant 2nd 😉 

We met up at the famous Seattle Market…enjoyed a lunch of delicious crepes and got to know each other’s families a little.  What a wonderful day!

 

Article-21aThere is a bit of wisdom that has been on my heart for quite a few years now – some wisdom for young, adult woman who are not yet married.  I would love for them to know that they don’t need to ‘husband hunt’.  Getting married should not be the goal of their life – sure, maybe one of the goals, but not the ultimate goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being married.  But…if us older ladies would just stop asking the younger women about when marriage is coming or if they have found a suitable boyfriend yet…how about asking them questions like “What is God doing in your life these days?” or “What exciting thing is God asking you to do?” or “How have you been living to glorify God?”.  Living for God and glorifying Him ought to be the main goal in all of our lives – including our young, single sisters.  That’s why I appreciate Candace’s post on Shining Stars.  4 Ways to Embrace the Gift of Waiting – a lovely post…by a younger, single sister.

 

Candace, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!   

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool

I was asked the question yet again…the same question most homeschool moms get.  Then I was asked the second question that is typically raised when people find out I am a homeschool support teacher.  While they may be two completely different questions, the foundational response is the same.  Why do I homeschool my kids and how do I know homeschool moms are not doing the work for their kids?  To answer these questions, I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool.  

**I did a Facebook live video to talk about this post – see bottom of this post for the video!**

Why do you home educate? Or better yet, why are you parenting as you do? On tough days, I need to come back to the foundation of they 'WHY'. Here are my Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool - or parent.

Many people think that the absolute best reason to homeschool is to keep our kids from the big, bad world.  However, we know that scripture does not support seclusion from the world.  We know that we are not supposed to be in relationship with only Christians.  We are to be in the world, not of it…  Read More

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