Category Archives: Homeschooling Advice

Concerned Teacher

Math lessons are the least of my homeschool concerns for this coming up homeschooling week.  Well, for that matter, neither is anything “common core” a big concern for this new week.  Nor is our homeschool group field trip.  So, what is it that concerns me about this week?  It’s this,  “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

 I’m concerned about how the judgement of  my teaching at the end of the week will turn out.  Will I have demonstrated Godly behavior?  Did I teach them Bible truths as we went about our day?  Was I slow to anger and quick to forgive?  Will my kids know without a doubt that I love them and think they are wonderful?  Did I encourage them?  Did I go about my work without grumbling or complaining?  Do they know their Savior better because of something this momma said or did?

These words haunt me as I plan for our school week, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42).

God help me.

And I’m praying that maybe, just maybe, the week will end with a judgement like this, “True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.” (Malachi 2:6)

betty jo

The Homeschool Village

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The Pen of POWER

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One of the most often used tools as a homeschooling mom is my red gel pen.  It is known around here as “The Pen of POWER” (that needs to be said with a fading echo on the word “power”).  With my trusted red gel pen I “X” out wrong math answers and missed spelling words.   With my red ink I circle, underline, and comment all over essays and reports.  I use this pen to record grades on their “PERMANENT RECORD”.

Sometimes I catch a look of dread as I am giving an assignment back to one of the kids as they notice the red all over.  They know they will have corrections to make. They are learning that it is better to do it right the first time.  Sometimes they may think that I’m being too critical with the grading.  But, I “X”, circle, underline and comment because I’m trying to be helpful.  I want to encourage them to try harder… to always do their best.  I want them to learn that when mistakes are made, they should try to fix them.  With my pen of power I help my kids share their ideas in ways that will be correct and easily understood.  It is with this pen that I help them to be the best students they can possibly  be.

In my old KJV, Christ’s spoken words are in red.  These red words correct me when I’m wrong.  These red words help me to learn what is correct and in a way that is easily understood. These red letters encourage me to try harder.  They give me the push I need to be the best I can possibly be. His words are never too critical, but always helpful and always spoken in love.

I want my red letters to be spoken in love whether they say “A+”, or “rewrite”, or “correct for half credit”.  My red gel pen truly does have power.   Spiderman said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”.  With my red gel pen I do have great responsibility…to train up my kids in the way they should go.

betty jo

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Sometimes It’s Just Not A Good Day

Don’t you just love a good day?  The sun shines, math lessons get done without any tears, the art projects turn out to be masterpieces, the toilet sparkles with disinfected gleam, the new dinner recipe was delicious, the desk organization is Pinterest worthy, and Mount Laundry is nearly a valley.   Well, for me, that day was not today. Today was one of those days that the sun didn’t shine, there were tears (but at least not over math lessons), nothing in the house could technically be deemed  “organized” or “disinfected”. dinner came from a frozen plastic bag, and I can’t find my desk because Mt. Laundry is blocking my way.

Sometimes it’s just not a good day, However, we have hope that tomorrow will be better, because we’ve experienced better days and know they are possible. We count our blessings and realize things could be worse…a lot worse.

And dear homeschooling momma, at least your day didn’t look like the one from this video. (Warning, watch before your kids do, I think it’s PG).  betty jo

Not So Weird Afterall

15 years ago homeschooling wasn’t all that popular. It was for hippies, survivalists, and religious fanatics (or so I thought). I did not fit into any of those categories, But, there I was pulling my kindergartener out of of public school anyway.

I checked out 2 different homeschool support groups and neither seemed to have hippies, survivalists, or religious fanatics as members. They were just normal moms that happened to be educating normal kids at home. The larger group had 25 or so families, the smaller had 6. Make that 7, because that’s the one we joined.

These awesome ladies helped me so very much. They taught me to breathe, relax, and pray. They prepped me on how to answer all the opposition questions that would come my way.  You know those questions, “What about socialization?” or “How will they get into college?” , etc (insert eye rolling here). They encouraged me and built me up.

This homeschool support group must not have been alone in encouraging newbies.  The number of homeschoolers in our country is now over the 2.5 million mark. Families are seeing home education as a viable option to traditional schooling. The opposition questions are still being asked but not as often and are now mixed with some very positive comments. It’s not so weird anymore.

Oh, and by the way, throughout the course of our 15 years homeschooling, I’ve happily learned to be a hippie, a survivalist, and a religious fanatic.  betty jo