How to know if you’re really Called to Homeschool

Do you feel called to homeschool? Maybe you think you might be or feel like you wish you could, but are questioning if God has called you to homeschool.

Do you feel called to homeschool? Maybe you think you might be or feel like you wish you could but are questioning if God really has called you to homeschool.

Maybe you’re picturing your sweet baby sitting all day in a hard desk instead of exploring the wonders of creation at the beach or reading together curled up on the couch, but you’re wondering if you missed this call?

Some homeschool moms talk about feeling called to homeschool.

But I always wondered what that call is supposed to sound like? Was I supposed to get some sort of message from God that homeschool is what I’m supposed to be doing?

Some homeschool moms talk about feeling called to homeschool. But I always wondered what that call is supposed to sound like?

I didn’t have a moment I heard God say, ‘and now, you shall homeschool.’ It was more of a gradual walking towards making this decision over time. 

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But hands down, It is one of the best decisions we have made.

At first, I felt it grew out of selfishness. I have this one baby, this one little girl that I waited to parent for SO LONG. Honestly, I didn’t want to send her away to school as soon as I got a chance to stay home with her.

Does the idea of sending your child to school give you a sense of unease?

It really did for me.

Other than just wanting to make up for the first few years when I worked and really enjoy raising my child, the only local preschool was full days. No way was my three-five year old going to spend 8 hours a day away from home.

God has given us this child to raise. By the time we would get home from work or school, we would only get a few precious hours before bedtime. Those hours would be full of homework and dinner. If she wants to play sports or spend time with friends, it would be even less.  

Can I really raise a child in two hours a day? Am I supposed to? Or am I called to homeschool?

Can I really raise a child in two hours a day? Am I supposed to??

No judging parents who’ve made different choices, but my daughter needed more of us those early years in her education. She was struggling with ADHD and intense emotions. Helping her walk through some of those things was crucial in her development, as was having lots of free time between lessons.

Homeschooling can usually be accomplished in few clock hours during the day. She sleeps until 8 or 9. We eat a leisurely breakfast and read together from the Bible or a history textbook.

School was 3-5 educational hours with lots of time to explore her interests. She had many hours for silent reading and many breaks for play and creativity. I had the flexibility assess her comprehension with a quiz or by asking her to draw a picture of life in ancient Egypt, or learn through travel & field trips.

Homeschool let her be little a little longer.

A recent Stanford study agrees that we’re sending kids to school way too early, missing time for play. A lot of cognitive development happens during play. Unstructured play even provides for the type of physical development which must occur before kids can sit still at desks all day.

Feeling like you might be called to homeschool? How can you know for certain? Click To Tweet

In the early 70s, my preschool was 2 or 3 half days a week at three and four years old. Kindergarten was half days. My elementary school days were 6.5 hours. We started at 9 and ended at 3:30. We also had 75 minutes for lunch and two recesses. I ate lunch at home with my mom and sisters.

School isn’t the same anymore.

Today, she would leave for the bus stop at 7:15 and get home by 3:30, having a thirty minute at-school lunch and one recess at the end of the school day. Having such a long day seemed to be unnecessarily structured for a kid who started teaching herself to read at 2 1/2 from Super Why!

Are you feeling like you can't send your child to spend 8 hours in a desk? Maybe you're being called to homeschool.

I also had unease about the quality of our local schools. All schools are imperfect, but our district zoned elementary school was very much struggling to provide recess, music, and art. I doubted the curriculum would be rigorous enough to challenge her even if the teachers were the most caring professionals.

And, I started examining the entire idea of sending her to school.

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What is your goal for your child’s education?

I want my daughter to grow up to be a productive member of society, learn to work well with others, but mostly, be a powerful woman of God. Was school really going to offer her the best chance of becoming those things, more than I could?

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No teacher would care about her and her development more than I did. School teachers might have more resources and more training for the special needs of elementary students, but I knew God would guide me if this is what He wanted for us.

One of our biggest concerns was socialization, but what is socialization?

On one hand, it means learning to behave socially with others. Between co-op, play dates, an organized bible study homeschool class, church, and actually being in the world, my daughter got LOTS of chances to be social with all sorts of people. She visits the nursing home and is the hit with the ladies there. She makes friends in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. Being social isn’t an issue for her.

Socialization is one of the biggest concerns of being called to homeschool, but do we want our kids to learn manners or worldly values?

However, socialization doesn’t just mean socializing. It means the deliberate transfer of values and morals from adults to children. When I thought about it that way, whose values did I want her to have? God’s values are my highest priority. While I don’t do it perfectly, I know that she is seeing me learn and grow in Christ daily. Even through learning to teach her math . . . and my journey is teaching her to love Jesus and seek Him.

So, I prayed. I didn’t want to spend all day apart. Actually, I enjoy spending the days with her. So, Should we homeschool?

I didn’t have a clue how my husband would feel about it. We had agreed that I would go back to work when she started school.

I took it to God in prayer.

Have you taken the question to homeschool to God in prayer?

And my husband said, “I think we need to homeschool.”

WHAT?!?! I was expecting this to be a serious conversation, maybe even heated discussion. I was floored when he agreed with me.

If there was any moment I felt called to homeschool, it was this one. 

Are you willing to learn and grow as much as your child will?

If so, you’ll do just fine.

You love your child and will strive to provide the best education you can. Find mentors, talk to neighbors, join a co-op. From field trips to the beach or local museums, you’ll find so many amazing programs and supplemental materials available. It’s difficult to do poor job homeschooling if you feel strongly you’re being called to homeschool.

And if you answered these questions differently, that’s okay. God has a different calling for each of us. What’s important is that you’re listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and paying attention when He opens doors for you.

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Is Christ in your Social Media Message?

Social media can be one of the darkest places in the world. But as Christians, we have a responsibility to be the light of Christ in our social media message.

Social media can be one of the darkest places in the world. People comment with cruel disregard for people on the other side of the screen. Yet, Christians have a responsibility to be the light of Christ in everything, including our social media message.

Twenty years ago, many of us couldn’t imagine social media existing much less consuming large portions of our lives. But, it has become how most people get news and interact with the global community on a daily basis. I don’t know the exact statistics, but most people check social media first thing each morning.

June 30, 2010 people celebrated the first World Social Media Day, which is around the time I joined the ranks of smart phone users and began to dip my toe into this new Facebook thing that was replacing MySpace. LOL

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And I’ve come to embrace it in many forms. I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and StumbleUpon, and a few more, but haven’t bitten the SnapChat bullet yet.

But one thing I try to do no matter which site I’m on is portray a consistent Christ-centered message.

Whether on my personal page or Heaven not Harvard accounts, nothing matters more to me than being as genuine a witness for my faith as I can be in every aspect of my social media use.

Keeping Christ at the center of our social media message is hard!

But social media is hard!

People are emboldened behind their keyboards to share every thought and emotion, often without much thought to how their words reflect on them as people or affect others.

Our social media message should be centered on a Kingdom-mindset and Christ focus. Click To Tweet

Honestly, I could write a book about Christian social media usage, but today, I want to focus on how we interact with our friends primarily.

Because it’s easy to see that social media is destructive and divisive within marriages and friendships. So we need to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity to be a light for Christ on social media among our friends.

Social media can be one of the darkest places in the world. But as Christians, we have a responsibility to be the light of Christ in our social media message.

So Why use social media at all?

As an Army wife, I live in a transient community. Social media allows us to stay in touch with people who have moved away and stay close through interacting with each other online.

Also, we live far from all our family. Social media allows us to feel more connected to family: cousins, aunts and grandparents, even those on the other side of the country or even world.

Even in the civilian sector, social media allows us to befriend and communicate with people around the globe. I’ve made real friendships with people in other states and walks of life and even on other continents.

BUT . . .

Our words have more weight than ever, and words without the benefit of tone of voice or facial expressions. Only our words must stand and reflect the heart we had when we posted an article or comment.

I write this not as one who has mastered my online words or social media message, but as one contending for righteousness in this arena.

Matthew 12:36 ESV / I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

It is not a stretch to assume that God will also hold us accountable for the words we type, as well.

Yesterday, I shared a post about service and the importance of focusing less on what I’m getting, more on how I’m loving others.

Focusing on how I love has also changed how I interact online.

Recently, a socially liberal, atheist friend and I were on opposite sides of an emotional issue in a Facebook thread. No matter how I explained my thoughts, he didn’t see it my way.

While tempting to use snarky wit to drive home my point, my goal in the conversation surpassed this one issue. Ultimately, my Kingdom-minded goal was to love my friend by demonstrating the love of Christ who lives in me.

At the end of the day, even this delicate and difficult topic was not as important as reaching my friend for Christ.

I prayed before reading each of his replies. Again, I prayed before replying. I typed replies and then prayed and revised.

In the end, I was able to address HIM not his position or his ideas, but reach out as a friend. “Hey, our friendship is more important than our agreement here.” Doing so reflected Christ more than convincing him of my Christian position on this issue ever would have.

I struggle with this issue everyday since I’m fairly political. And I do believe part of God’s calling in my life has been to righteously contend for His truths. However, I feel very strongly that I should err on the side of invitation and grace in how I interact on social media.

When I account for my words, I want to be able to say that everything I said was done in my very human attempt to be a light for Christ in one of the darkest places in the world – the internet.

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Beating Body Image Issues: Compared to Who?

Beating my body image issues meant getting real about having body image issues. I’ve spent my life believing my issues were with my body. I was so wrong!

Beating my body image issues meant getting real about having body image issues. I’ve spent much of my adult life believing that my issues were with my body.

If my body looked better, I wouldn’t have any issues, right? I was so wrong. I didn’t even realize I was working on the wrong AREA of my life!

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Of course, when I did lose weight, I noticed the stretch marks from the extra weight or the wrinkles in my face became more prominent. Every step toward my ideal body brought up new body image issues to worry about: varicose veins, chin hair, visible scars. I was never going to get there.

But that didn’t stop me from believing I was supposed to.

My body image issues were so ingrained I couldn’t separate my worth as a person from my imperfections.

I did things like walk for two hours everyday, skip meals, and start marathon running despite major joint pain because I felt compelled to reach this place of good enough physical perfection.

Beating my body image issues meant getting real about having body image issues. I’ve spent my life believing my issues were with my body. I was so wrong!
used with permission – Heather Creekmore 2017

Body image issues even spilled over into my nutrition. I skipped too many meals and didn’t eat nutritious food in proper proportions. I tried every diet and exercise plan, but none could change how I felt inside my own heart.

My body image issues were so ingrained I couldn't separate my worth from my imperfections. Click To Tweet

I’m ashamed of how body image has affected my life. I’ve cancelled plans or been too embarrassed to go places because I don’t have clothes to cover my problem areas. Because of my appearance, I’ve felt like a failure as a person.

I’ve cried so many tears wishing I could just be normal. The joke was on me! I am normal – like the 91% of women who also struggle with body image issues.

I’ve been on a journey to let go of my body image issues for the last few years, but Heather Creekmore’s book has helped free me in a way I didn’t expect.

At first, I didn’t want to read Compared to Who?.  I was so sure this was just another DIET book, full of the same old platitudes.

God only cares about your heart. It’s the inside that matters.

UGH! While those are true statements, they only help so much unless you deal with the real issue. Because deep down, while I know God loves me and values me for the inside, I want other people to think I’m wonderful too. There’s the real issue-Pride.

Despite my resistance, God was working on my body image issues and wasn’t going to leave me alone. I kept seeing this book everywhere.

Clearly, God wanted me to read this book.

When my copy arrived, I was hesitant but after a few pages, Heather’s humor and compassionate honesty captured my attention.

She confessed all thoughts I’ve secretly thought: every silent smug vanity, the catty comparisons, my shame when I didn’t match up, believing I just needed to have enough self-esteem to accept myself the way I am. So much of her story related to mine!

And I knew she understood. So when she asked me to rethink everything I’ve ever thought about vanity and body image, I was willing.

Compared to Who? offers us the heart of our body image issues and lets us quit comparing. Click To Tweet

What’s more, Compared to Who? showed me how I’ve been missing the heart issue of my body image issues.

I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with body image issues or vanity. Even though it mostly pertains to women, Heather speaks to the heart of the matter, our sinful flesh.

While I received a free copy from the author, the opinions are my own!

If you take what she says to heart, read the scriptures, and ask God to work in your heart, you will change. I am beating my body image issues, and freedom never felt so good.

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Kite Girls – a letter to my pre-Tween Daughter

Kite Girls - a letter to my pre-Tween daughter about watching her grow up.

Pre-tween girls are kind of magical. This year I’ve embraced my daughter joining this daring phase of contradictions. She is both brave and timid, equal parts fierce and tender.

Each year I write her a birthday letter. It was spawned by the once a year letter to her birth mother that was always so emotional to write. I email these letters to a secret account she can access as an adult.

My sweet girl,

I’m sorry this is so late. Writing your birthday letter has been really hard for me this year, which is odd because for the first time, your birthday wasn’t quite so bittersweet. Watching you turn seven has been joyful.

Of course, I still wish I could slow down time, go back and do it all over, but . . .

Something changed during this year of your being six. We both began to let go.

I could feel my heart stepping back from the intense grasp of young motherhood as you began to need me less.

I’m slowly being relegated from leading lady to supporting character in your life. And I’m glad to be in the audience. You’re a show stopper, my love.

You are a show stopper, my Kite Girl, in your pre-tween glory!

But I relish the precious moments you come racing back to me, begging to sit on my lap, asking for story time, or just needing me to hold you.

Still, something about sitting under your weight, brings me back to center. Your sweet baby heaviness makes me feel lighter. Your sweaty cheek and damp hair rest against my face, begging me to press safety and love into you as deeply as you press into me.

For a moment, I catch a memory of the hours we spent like this stumbling through your infancy, but then you’re gone, butterfly flitting back to your friends, chalk drawings, summer games. And I close my eyes savoring the fading memories, like trying to hold a cloud.

I hadn’t written your letter because I just couldn’t find the words to describe the magic of watching six flow into seven. Then the perfect picture came to me – in a text message from your dad.

Kite girls – precious pre-tween girls, bravely stretching to reach the sky, but still embracing being tied to home.

Kite Girls - a letter to my pre-Tween daughter about watching her grow up. These girls 6-8 are kites, testing the sky while reaching back for our hands to hold.

And I love this picture, your brown hair blowing in the wind. This year, you became my kite girl, daring to soar on your own but happily within the safety of my reach.

I watched your creativity skyrocket. You began writing an autobiography, dedicating it to your cousin because he will still be alive when it’s finished. 😉 Thanks, kid.

Everyday you had some interesting, wonderfully silly perspective on life. Sometimes your wisdom is beyond your years.

Kite girls – precious pre-tween ladies, bravely reaching into the sky, but still tied to home. Click To Tweet

This year, you grew up, literally. It was only a few inches, but ALL legs, powerful and purposeful.

Your stepstool gradually moved away from the vanity as you no longer needed it to reach the sink. You moved out of your toddler bed into a loft that should carry you to college.

You tossed your floaties out of the pool and grabbed goggles instead.

My little Kite Girl - you tossed your floaties, grabbing goggles instead. A letter to my pre-Tween.

Six was a magical line between being baby and little girl, but at seven, you’re also becoming a young lady. You warm my heart when you befriend lonely people at the store, stopping to compliment their fashion jewelry or colorful blouse.

I’ve seen you embrace your inner tomboy and glamour girl at the same time. It’s awesome. I celebrate that you are making your own way, not letting the world’s gender expectations define you.

These Kite Girl years are the epitome of contradictions.

You go fishing with daddy and catch more fish than he does every time. You’re not afraid to touch the fish, but a bee sends you into hysterics. You’ll watch daddy gut a deer and identify every organ, but won’t eat a piece of meat with a scrap of squishy fat on it because . . . ewww.

Kite Girls are a story of contradictions, fierce & tender, brave & shy. Click To Tweet

I love watching you dressed in rainbows and sparkles play rough and tumble sheriff with the boys from the block and bravely relocate worms from the driveway to the plant beds “to improve soil quality” for our apple tree saplings.

Pre-tween questions get harder and the answers more complicated.

Questions got harder this year. How do fractions work? How do babies get into the mommy’s tummy? Why was that boy mean to me? Why doesn’t everyone love Jesus the way we do? What did God make me to do?

And I try to give you the best answers I can for where you are. I hope you’ll have some grace for me when I get it wrong and offer too little information or too much.

I’m still not ready to give you the full details on #2. For now, the daddy puts it in there is going to have to do. Sorry, not sorry.

This year, I spent too much time crying over school with you. We both struggle some days to balance this mother/daughter vs. teacher/student relationship. But I pray at the end it’s as worth it for you as it has been for me.

I’ve learned so much about teaching from you that I couldn’t learn in a classroom. Mostly, I’ve learned how to really be patient instead of pretending until I lose my temper.

I’ve learned to see you where you are and sit there with you.

I’ve learned the fear of being wrong is paralyzing, even when you’re six and there is no penalty for an incorrect answer. Pride is a killer at any age.

So we’ve both had to step back and learn to have a teachable spirit towards our mistakes instead of frustrated pride.

Letting you make mistakes is hard.  I’m teaching you to take a deep breath, regroup, and try again. It’s kind of amazing to watch you beam with pride after you persevere to learn something new.

Our new chant has become-“Making mistakes is how we grow, learning things we did not know.”

I’ve had to think more about your body image (and work on mine). I want your identity to be imperishable. I think you’re beautiful, but it was always about how much I love you, not your appearance.

And, I need to make sure you know that. Any identity in temporary beauty is building your house on shifting sand.

Matthew 7: 25 The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock.

These pre-tween years are already filled with more awareness of peers and societal pressures. I want you to have a solid identity in Christ to withstand the coming torrential storms of adolescence.

I know that I have to put God at the center of my parenting and leading if I want the identity you’re building to be one that will last forever.

Psalm 127:1 ESV /Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain…

I’ve begun to see the woman you’ll become and glimpses of the friendship I pray we’ll always have.

Love always, Mom, your biggest cheerleader even from the sidelines.

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My Father’s Day Gift Guide for Budget Minded Mamas

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide! I want him to know I see the hard work he does without fanfare or thanks & budget minded mamas, these are $25 or less!

I’m sharing my Father’s day gift guide. Really, I was just shopping but found some great things, so I wanted to share!

My husband has been so great to me during this difficult year. I really want him to know I see him: the hours, the hard work, the little things he does without fanfare or expecting thanks. Yet, I need to be frugal while showing my husband I appreciate him. So, all these gifts are $25 or less!

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

One way I show my appreciation is by paying attention to little things he needs. On a regular basis, I replace his socks, toothpaste, and favorite hot sauce. But for a Father’s Day gift, I want him to know how much we appreciate him by making his day to day life easier.

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide! I want him to know I see the hard work he does without fanfare or thanks & budget minded mamas, these are $25 or less!

Just this week, he was scrounging through the garage looking for the right size drill bit for some project. I could hear his grumbling from the garage. I can’t always be physically helpful, but this universal drill and screw tool might save him so much frustration.

My husband LOVES to grill and BBQ. You know you live in the South when these are two entirely separate activities!  He has a gas grill, a charcoal grill that he uses for slow barbecuing, and a smoker.

Sharing my Father's Day Gift Guide for Budget Minded Mamas! All gifts under $25 - 5 FREE ideas! Click To Tweet

Grill accessories are always a great Father’s Day gift!

Maintaining the proper temperature is important when you invest 12-24 hours into dinner! This one has a timer for up to 24 hours and free lifetime replacement of the probes. I’m already looking forward to our next hog roast!

And having the right tools for the job is paramount – plus it keeps him from using my good kitchen utensils at the grill! 😉 This set has the tools he needs without taking up too much storage space, & is on SALE!

My husband is a talented amateur chef. In fact, he could be a professional, so we’ve bought some high quality chef knives. However, they are TOUGH to keep sharp because the blades are such hard steel.

Is your husband or father a talented chef?

He is always complaining that his sharpeners aren’t enough to keep the edges on the blades crisp.  Just Friday night at our fish fry, he was complaining about using our cheap knives because they sharpen more easily.  He was especially frustrated by the filet knife that he wishes he could use. But getting to a professional sharpener isn’t always possible, so I looked for one that would be harder than his knives.

This knife sharpener has a diamond coated sharpening wheel that should keep even our serrated knives sharp. With a 100% no questions asked, money back guarantee, for under $20, this is an easy Father’s Day gift. I really want him to enjoy those quality knives.

Gifts aren't the most important ways to say I love you, but just the right thing is fun. Click To Tweet

Of course, REALLY sharp knives have led to a few trips to the ER in our house. He uses sharp knives to filet fish and butcher deer. He needs them to be extra sharp, but also needs all his fingers. I got him a pair of these for his birthday earlier this year.

He LOVES them. He hasn’t cut himself once wearing them. And can use them while working with other sharp objects as well. These have saved his fingers several times already.

Maybe your husband needs some new t-shirts and likes to wear his faith! Christian Strong has some great styles (and cute things for you, too).

Or he might be an intellectual and enjoy books that deepen his faith. There are many to choose from, but one that I really would suggest to any husband or father is The End Of Me by Kyle Idleman. You can read my entire review, but I LOVED this book. I really had to decide what kind of Christ follower I am and be willing to see past me.

We don’t usually spend a lot of money on gifts. We prefer to save for things together. And sometimes living on one salary means we make sacrifices.

When nothing store bought will do . . . .

5 FREE Father’s Day Gift ideas for your father or husband:

  • Cook his favorite meal and dessert for Father’s Day.
  • Ask him for his to-do list and surprise him by doing it so he gets a weekend off!
  • Write him a letter or several notes telling him what you appreciate about him extra points if you hide them where he will be surprised by notes all day.
  • Spend the day actively doing his favorite things. Go fishing. Watch golf. Etc.
  • DEAL with him. That means Drop Everything And Listen. Give him your best attention as often as humanly possible.

Loving each other everyday is more important than things we buy, but small, thoughtful gifts can also be treasures.

I hope you have a husband or father in your life you can celebrate this Father’s Day. While not everyone does, if you are blessed enough to have a father, step-father, or husband in your life, take a few minutes to celebrate them however will honor them the most.

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