Tag Archives: sanctification

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Have Used That I Didn’t Like & Why

I debated with myself over writing this post. I don’t really like being negative.

I asked a few friends if they would benefit from a post on what I have used, didn’t like & why.  The overwhelming consensus was that it would be very helpful.  I tried to make this short and sweet.  I pray it’s sweet, but short it is not!  Grab yourself a cup of tea, sit back and relax.

Here goes…

Again I have to state right up front that anytime you ask any homeschooler what curriculum they like & use… their first response to your inquiry should be what teaching method they use.  Are they un-schoolers, of a classical bent, a scope & sequence proponent, using a school-at-home style or is there something else?

You also need to know the answers to the following questions: Are they Christians?  Do they have a view of biblical discipleship and what is it?  Are they creationists or evolutionists?  How do they view the use of computers?

Some of this I touched on in a earlier post the curriculum I liked & why and will expand that here.  You don’t know me so just why should you read what I have to say about homeschool curriculum?

First, I am a Christian. In brief we believe in:

a) scripture alone is the standard (Psalm 119:18; Psalm 138:2; II Tim. 3:14-17);

b) all of life is to be lived for the glory of God (1CO 10:31; 1PE 4:11; REV 1:6; 2PE 3:1; EPH 3:21; REV 7:12; ROM 11:36);

c) I am saved by Jesus Christ’s work alone (1TI 2:5-6; COL 1:13-18);

d) salvation is by faith through grace alone (Ephesians 1:3-8);

e) I am justified by faith alone (Galatians 3:6-11).

We believe the bible clearly states it is the father’s role to teach and disciple his children.  We do not believe that a decision between government or private school and homeschool is a morally neutral issue.  It is through the day-to-day things that must be done in a home and the school work where we are able to train our son to be a diligent, industrious, cheerful worker ready to take his place in the world and take dominion over his part of it.  Our goal is to prepare him for his role as a Christian man/husband/father in society and  to accurately apply the bible to every situation he may encounter in his life.

All education is religious by nature as it answers the fundamental questions of who God is, how did we get here and why are we here?  We will not leave that teaching up to anyone else, much less to some “government approved” person we know nothing about!  We wouldn’t turn our car over to a complete stranger why would we do that with our child, who is far more precious than our vehicle?

In my study of un-schooling I kept coming across the term “child lead learning”.  This is in direct opposition to what the bible tells me about the nature of a child and what God requires of me as a parent.  All are filled with a sin nature from conception and ‘the way he should go’ will not be the direction he will naturally desire.  It is my God-given duty to lead him there anyway.  The only thing you don’t have to teach a child is how to sin.

Train up a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and reproof give wisdom,

but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 22:6

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Proverbs 10:1

He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.

Proverbs 17:21

A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.

Proverbs 17:25

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:34

What about the classical education stuff that is all the rage these days? I am not much for that either.  It would be more accurate to call it Classical Humanism and in the classical sense that is one who studies “humanities”, the classic Greek & Roman literature.  The focus is on the academics and what material and/or social benefit can be attained thereby.  Classical schooling recommends highly questionable materials all in the name of “good literature”.  But who deemed these “good”?  Do they conform to Philippians 4:8?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Sadly most of the “classical humanism” recommended materials do not line up with scriptural principles.  I know, I have read some of it in my ‘government school career’ and well before I was saved.  There are just some thoughts and ideas that do not belong in a young, impressionable mind.

What about scope & sequence?  Don’t some curriculum come with those?  Well, yes, some do include a scope & sequence or have it available if you want one.  It is the application of the scope and sequence, believing that all children will know certain information at certain ages that is objectionable.  The program of scope and sequence must be adapted to the individual child.  Children are not automatons or need-some-assembly units on a conveyor belt all able to digest the same information at the same speed as each other and coming out the end of a 12 year program “educationally assembled”.  This is by its nature what the government school system must be to process all those ‘units’ out the end in an ‘efficient’ manner.  This system cannot ever provide the necessary behavioral and moral training living and growing children need.  In my homeschool, the last thing I want is to recreate the ‘government school’ at home!

Brand me as a heretic, but I do not believe that all teaching methodologies are scriptural.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.   I Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.    I Corinthians 10:23

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Wow.  Is there anything left?

Yes!  The Trivium!!

Um… OK… what is that?  In a nutshell it is Christian homeschooling in a classical style

Wait!!  You just said that you didn’t like the classical education so what gives?

This is limiting the meaning of classical to include only what is of good form and lasting value (classical), and which conforms to a Biblical standard within a Biblical worldview (Christian).  The focus is taking out of all cultures and times what is redeemable for Christ.   Not trying to baptize these cultures, in whole or in part, and call that “Christian”.  You can read more on what the Trivium is, and how to implement it in “Teaching the Trivium” by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn.

All the questions mentioned above have been answered except one.  My view of computers.  Before you brand me an a neanderthal along with a heretic let me tell you I like computers for the tools they are.  But my child-raising philosophy does not see much good in computers for young, developing children.  That also includes television.  I believe a child should have lots of one-on-one time with a real live, living and breathing human being along with lots of outdoor play.  I do not believe that the one-on-one time should be child-centered and exclusively of an entertainment mindset.  There is so much that needs accomplishing in a day that there is little time to spend all day “playing” with the children!

Children need to be included in all the things you do everyday.  They can help fold the small things when you are folding laundry.  They can load the clothes into the washer (get them a stool so they can reach)!  They can switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  Give them a spray bottle of water to help ‘clean’ the counters & mirrors in the bathroom.  Have them pick up and put away their toys.  Give them a small rag to dust the lower shelves, under the coffee table, and any other lower furniture pieces.  Very young children can do SO MUCH MORE than what we think they can do!  Even a 3-year-old can vacuum, at least the center areas!  They can stir what’s in the bowl, tear the lettuce, set the table and I could go on but I think you get the picture.  Including your children in your chores gives them a sense of purpose and that they are contributing to the family.

With that, let us begin with what I have used and didn’t like and why.

1. What have you used that you didn’t like? Why?

A) The Well Trained Mind

Ms. Bauer’s focus is strictly on the academics and the academic achievement brought by homeschooling. We are first and foremost interested in the character of our child above the academics. Less you think we don’t do any academics, let me assure you we DO, and plenty of them. But our focus is on the character of the child through the academics, chores, etc.

In our previous church most of the homeschoolers were using Ms. Bauer’s materials and couldn’t sing its praises enough. So I bought a copy. After reading it completely I was less than impressed to say the least. It’s all academics, page after page of academics. The how to and where to and why to… do the academics. The book is broken down into the three learning stages a child goes through, 1) the grammar, 2) the logic and 3) the rhetoric stages. In each of these three sections the “religious instruction” comprises a measly 3 pages. In the grammar stage there are no resources listed except to say ‘see your religious community’. In the entire 810 pages (yes I kept my copy) there are 9 pages devoted to the most important area in the life of anyone – the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his need of a savior.

I was saddened to know that there are so many Christian homeschoolers using this material and taking her recommendations for what to teach and when. In the grammar stage she recommends materials to study the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, the Olympus gods & goddesses, Shakespeare, Fairy stories of India & Ireland and that’s just 1st grade!

The bible says, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7  Our greatest desire is to teach and train Arrow to know and love the Lord God Almighty with all his heart and all his mind and all his soul and all his strength. “The Well Trained Mind” just didn’t seem to be of any help in that essential area.

The other thing I highly disliked is her improper use of “her” as a non-gender specific, singular pronoun. It is perfectly acceptable, proper English usage to use “he”, “him” and “his” as non-gender specific, singular pronouns.  Not only is it acceptable, but was used for centuries! It is the communist/ feminist ideology that suddenly makes the usage of these non-gender specific, singular pronouns unacceptable! Don’t get me started on the number gender agreement problems with using “they” as a singular pronoun. It is not now, nor will “they” ever be a singular pronoun! [off soap box]

[where's that paper bag...? breathe in... breathe out... breathe in... breathe out...]

B) Story of the World V1

by Susan Wise Bauer- very UN-biblical in worldview – I almost threw it against the wall in disgust…,

but returned it instead and got my valuable money refunded ;-)

It characterizes ‘early’ man as an evolved, not very intelligent, hominid being. The blatantly UN-biblical view and anti-Christian tone were offensive.

I know when I read my bible, Adam was created as a highly functioning, intelligent man. He was immediately able to name all the animals and take instructions from the Lord. It is in chapter 4 where there is the mention of Jubal who is the father of those who play the lyre and pipe and Tubal-Cain who is the father of those who forge instruments of bronze and iron. You have to be pretty smart in order to teach someone else to play an instrument or forge bronze or iron implements. These people were also building cities and had livestock! Cities mean large numbers of people in close proximity. City dwelling makes a hunter/gatherer type of existence impossible. Noah also planted a vineyard right after the flood, so the knowledge of planting & harvesting grapes and making wine existed before the flood as well. I may have missed some things but all this tells me that early man was smart right from the start.

C) Hooked on Phonics - too juvenile for my older (then 13yr) learner, expensive,

D) Mystery of History; Vol I - not enough there, not able to easily substitute my own materials, first volume uses slang expressions (cool, etc.) which I found very irritating, the course is not yet completed (as of this writing), we would have had to switch to something else later anyway… I was looking for… something… more/else/different than this. I wanted meat to the study without bogging down in the details yet flexible enough for us to camp on any “detail” we felt we needed/wanted to study in more depth. This is biblical in it’s treatment of history yet doesn’t go far enough on that front for my tastes.

E) Making Math Meaningful - at one point Arrow just did not get a concept. We followed the instructions for coming back to that section later, which we did. Still he did not get the concept we were returning to. There were absolutely no additional resources to enable us to ‘camp out’ in that or any other section unless I wrote more pages. I had no interest in writing my own math curriculum… that’s what I was buying one for! This taught addition and subtraction all together, which can make it confusing to a young student (which this is meant for…).  If I was starting over with Arrow I wouldn’t start with formal education as early as I did.  We started him when he was 6 and a half.  I would have spent more time on character issues, chores, reading aloud and making learning part of our daily lives.  (two eggs plus two eggs makes how many eggs? while making cookies, etc.)  I also know more about digit spans and would have spent more time on them!

OK, that is a whole different post… I’ll discuss that soon!  Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it.

F) the Phonics Game - too expensive, I used this many years ago and the videos had the ‘mom’ dressed in tight spandex as she and her ‘son’ roller bladed around discussing ‘phonics’ (I would skip that part!) otherwise the card game is an excellent way to learn reading rules while playing & having fun!

G) Worldviews of the Western World 1 - I did use this for Peter Rabbit. After we pulled out of the government indoctrination center in 7th grade (1992). It is good, but with Tapestry of Grace, we learn the same thing (also as meaty as we desire) only in its historic context, it does not have the ability to be used with younger students at the same time (as Tapestry of Grace does), you actually read pagan materials (The Iliad, the Odyssey, The Aeneid & The Republic) though you do contrast them with the bible, but…

We choose this because we were brand new Christians, had limited biblical knowledge ourselves and Peter Rabbit was raised with no church background. We were interested in trying to build a biblical foundation in his learning. The biblical materials are excellent, meaty and worth having in your library. The discussions are excellent and the required essays are thought provoking. I loved the music and art portions where you can “see” & “hear” the effects of these pagan, anti-biblical philosophies on the culture.

I would recommend this with great caution. You know the bent of your student(s) best. If you think reading pagan material might foster or encourage a love for fantasy, mysticism, paganism, etc I would steer clear of this material. There is no way to use this without the reading of the pagan materials. And for some students, even contrasting the pagan materials with the very good biblical materials might just not be… enough. Just a caution.

G) Lifepacs from Alpha & Omega -

I did use some of these our very first year homeschooling ‘Peter Rabbit’ in the early 90′s.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with the content.  I have not examined them for content issues.  My problem is with them as workbooks.  This is recreating the government school style in your home!  Workbooks are relied upon by the government school teachers because they cannot possibly give individual attention to all 30 students in their classes!  Workbooks are busy work.  Maybe if I had lots of girls I would have a different view, but with boys… oh don’t kill their love of learning by giving them tons of workbooks!

I pray this post is a blessing to you!  What things have you used in your homeschool that you didn’t like and why?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest to you:

Why We Attend the Christian Heritage Conference

IndoctriNation the Movie

Why We Homeschool

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Use and Why I Use It

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June 6th – A Momentous Day

Today is a momentous day.

Yes, back in 1944 was the invasion of Normandy, France by the allied troops.  It is referred to as ‘D-Day’.

43 years later there was another momentous day on June 6th.

It was the day of my marriage to The Patriarch.  Yes, that makes today our 25th Wedding Anniversary!  I guess you could say this is also… W-Day.

I ran across this post today – To Love Honor and Vacuum.  She lists some good tips for keeping your husband the man of your dreams, even though there is now much water under the bridge!

I will list her headings and add my own comments below that list.

1) Don’t Compare Him, 2) Find Things to Praise Him For, 3) Don’t Try to Tame Him, 4) Embrace a Healthy S*x Life.

1) Whew!  I wouldn’t want him to compare me to another woman, especially a fake one from the movies or a magazine!  This is the man you chose to marry, the man you ‘fell in love with’, enjoyed talking with and spent hours getting yourself ready for.  Learn to love him for who he is!  If he is adoring you above all else, worshiping the ground you walk on, etc  then his priorities are wrong.  You should come after his love for the Lord, not before.  That other idea is a false humanistic view of love.

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  Deuteronomy 6:1 – 5

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mark 12:30

My dear husband goes to work every day, working hard to provide for us.  He is out slaying his dragons, taking dominion over his part of the world.  Currently his work environment is Christian-hostile, anti-intellectual and physically and spiritually draining.  My desire is for him to “want” to come home every day.  I sure don’t want to do, say or behave in a way that would drive him away!

2) When I have my priorities in their proper places it is much easier for me to take my eyes off of what I perceive as my needs and focus on what his needs are.  I do not do this as well as I would like, but with the Lord’s help I am improving one day at a time.

I also am careful not to praise him in a way that seems artificial or fake.  That seemed to be a problem in his extended family and in his childhood home the pendulum swung so far the other way that no compliments were given for anything.  I don’t gush with meaningless words but am specific in what I am praising him for.  Sometimes if is an “offhand” kind of comment, like when I told him I love the way he leads our family devotions.  It was part of a larger conversation and fit in context.  I wasn’t “looking for something to compliment him on”, but mentioned something I genuinely appreciate.

I also take what opportunities I can to praise him behind his back.  Years ago as a Creative Memories consultant I attended consultant only crops.  There were a several women who spent lots of time tearing down their husbands.  Some I make sure to remember as examples for what NOT to do!

3) She says “don’t tame him”, but I see this as “Be IN Submission To Him”!  This is the age-old problem between men & women, brought about by our first parents…  Adam & Eve.

It can be so easy for we as women to fool ourselves into thinking we are being submissive when in actuality we are only agreeing with our husbands.  Do not think that I am doing this perfectly, for I am not.  There are still and always will be areas I can improve upon.  But there should be improvement!

If you asked your husband, would he say you are in true biblical submission to him?  Let’s not focus on the anomalies to a healthy biblical relationship.

Here are some questions I ask to test myself:

Has my husband asked me to do something that I have still not gotten done days, weeks or months later?

Am I making my husband’s wishes a priority in my day above what I think I ‘must’ get done today?

Do I talk over my husband?  Do I interrupt my husband?  Do I correct my husband in front of the children or others?

Do the children respect my husband?  If not, than the root problem may lie at my door.

Am I doing or saying anything that would discourage my husband from being the biblical leader of our home?

8 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3: 8 – 24

4) I have nothing to add here.

I think I told you before that The Patriarch was out of work for 2 months.  Once he got another job it was a number of weeks before we had our first full paycheck.  We were a full 10 and a half weeks without income.  I did not tell my husband that he needed to look for work, I knew he knew that full well.  My saying anything along those lines would be nagging.  He didn’t need THAT from me.  He asked me, as keeper of the accounts, how we fared financially and I gave him an honest answer.  Not making things look bleaker than they were or glossing over any potential difficulties.  I didn’t make any comments like, ‘well we could do that or have that but you aren’t bringing in a paycheck’.  If he decided to not do something, or to do something I made it all work to the best of my ability.  The same went for if we said anything to anyone or not.  He chose ‘not’.  It was well over half way through our ‘tight financial time’ when he thanked me for being supportive!  Once Arrow and I knew he would be leaving for work, we both told him we were glad he got a job but sorry he wouldn’t be home!  We all came to see this time as a blessing in our family.  I will share more on those things in a different post.

I was not always in submission to DH.  I was one who had duped myself into thinking I was, when the truth was I was not in submission.  Once I truly did submit myself to his biblical authority and I was no longer striving for his God-given-position as leader in our family so many needless arguments simply vanished!

I wouldn’t trade that false sense of freedom I once had for the true freedom I now enjoy.  It has been such a blessing!

So does that mean this is… D W Day?!!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other posts you may be interested in:

LAF Has Returned

Resolution – More Attentive to DH

The Mother’s Day Blues

I have been known in the past to remark that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark inspired ‘occasion’, and if your children don’t honor you any of the other 364 days of the year than why would you expect them to honor you on a specific day?

My friend, Bambi, over at “Nursery of the Nation” blog wrote an excellent piece on where our real focus should be on Mother’s Day.

I don’t know about you, but I sure NEEDED this reminder.  Truly does give “Mother’s Day” a whole new meaning!

I pray you are as blessed by her post as I was!  Blessings, ~Aunt Mae

She’s Got the Mother’s Day Blues


It’s almost here. Mother’s Day. The stores have flower bouquets readily available, and pink, feminine greeting cards are easily accessible in every grocery checkout line. I saw a huge sign outside a jewelry store the other day: “Tell her you appreciate her… with a diamond.”

Last time I checked, my five-year-old didn’t have enough money in his piggy bank to buy me a diamond. Unless your children are adults, the recognition of Mother’s Day falls on a husband’s shoulders.

And what if mom is single? What if her husband is deployed? What if he’s an unbeliever or a loving husband who simply doesn’t choose to make a big deal–or any deal–out of Mother’s Day?

Discontent
Mother’s Day can have the potential to bring discontent to our hearts. I’m ashamed to admit, in Mother’s Days past, I have found myself tempted to get a wee bit self-focused. Surely one day out of the year mothers deserve to be honored for all our hard work and sacrifices, right?

But the thing is, children don’t rise up and bless you until they are old enough to rise. A few of us may have young children that understand sacrifice and the eternal significance of our discipline, hard choices and protection of them, but most don’t. They won’t for many years.

I once helped a group of 6 year olds make homemade cards for their moms on Mother’s Day. I asked them to be specific about what they were thankful for in their mothers, remembering everything their moms did for them. Every single one of them said they were thankful their moms made meals. That’s all they could think of even after I prodded them. One of them even had me write, “Thank you for the bowls of cereal.” Ha!

The moral of that story is that number one–mealtime is very significant to children and number 2–it’s one of the only things they see that you do. Their little eyes just don’t see the magnitude of your influence on their lives, until much later.

And so it’s an unspoken rule, especially in the early years of motherhood, that Mother’s Day could be better named: Wife’s Day… or Husband-Better-Make-Wife-Feel-Good-or-He-Will-Get-the-Silent-Treatment-and-Probably-Never-Know-Why-Day.

Mother’s Day Focus: God and Others
It’s inside of all of us. We all want to be noticed, appreciated and valued. But if we’re to consider others more important than ourselves, we can instead:

*Make it a day of personal thanksgiving to God for the children He has blessed us with. Thank him for a husband who provides so that we can be keepers at home and enjoy the beautiful tasks God has called us to, as mothers.

*Focus on other moms who don’t have children who have “risen up” yet either. Make her a pie, send a card, call, text or email. Consider it a special opportunity to encourage her. And be specific about the virtues you see in her and the progress you see her making in her marriage and children.

*Plan a special meal for the mom or mom-figure in your life.

*Help your children send homemade cards to other women in their lives, and teach them to recognize their character and strengths so they can be specific in their letters.

*Remember women who aren’t mothers. Older women who were never able to have children, as well as women currently experiencing the trial of infertility. Take the opportunity to write them a homemade card that encourages them with scripture, or give them a simple gift.

*If you have children who would like to have a gift for you, help them by providing craft supplies or give them a few dollars (or extra chores to earn it). You can take them shopping rather than hoping or expecting that your husband will do it.

Don’t We Deserve Just One Day of Honor?
If our husbands, children or others honor us this weekend, it will be a blessing. But we don’t deserve it. What we did deserve has already been paid in full. The penalty we owed–has been paid by the sacrifice of Christ, justifying us and satisfying the wrath of our Holy God.

We’ve been saved by the grace of God, Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. No works…not even good wifely or motherly works, are enough to save us, nor do they earn us extra credit.

We serve our families all year, 24/7. If we know the call to lay down our lives for them it’s only because he laid down His life for us. We can serve and serve and serve, but apart from His sacrifice there is no serving. True greatness is attained only by emulating Christ’s example, the ultimate Servant–and only made possible by His sacrifice.

That is worth celebrating every day and every moment.

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Today’s Church & The Lost Doctrine

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Why We Attend the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference

This year’s conference is at the end of this week.  Our excitement mounts as the days draw nearer, ever nearer!!

Why do we attend THIS conference above any others offered in our state?

Let me count the ways!

1) Christian Heritage’s conference is the only Christ-centered homeschool conference offered in my area.  When we first started homeschooling in the early 1990′s I did attend ‘another’ big conference in our area… it was the only thing I knew about at the time.  But it’s sole focus was on the teaching-mom.  There wasn’t a hint of anything that we believed was important.  Anything “Christian” was indicated as so in the brochure… so they could be avoided by the majority attending.  I was starving for the Christian message and sought out those that were specifically Christian!!  ‘That’ conferences biggest draw is the mammoth sized curriculum fair.  But THAT isn’t a draw for me, as I am interested in distinctly Christian materials to support the Christian training we supply at home.

2) Christian Heritage’s vendor hall is FULL of excellent, Christian materials!  This is by far THE BEST homeschool vendor hall I have ever had the privilege to attend.  I don’t have to examine science materials to discover that it is evolutionary based twaddle!  It is a LARGE vendor hall FILLED with materials of substance, quality and Christ.  Lots and lots of choices… so go with a list!!  It can be overwhelming.  :-)

3) Christian Heritage’s conference provides encouragement and teaching for me in my God-given roles of helpmeet, keeper-at-home, and instructor/discipler of the next generation, and for The Patriarch in his roles as prophet, priest, protector and provider for our family.   That encouragement keeps us going through the rest of the year and not become weary in well doing.  Neither of us had any of this modeled or taught to us in our childhood years and this excellent teaching helps us to understand and live out our God-given roles.

4) No matter what questions or concerns have cropped up over the previous year, the Christian Heritage conference has answered them from a biblical basis, there was a concern about college, a science question, each year has been something very different.   God is so amazing and gracious to do this for me… every single year!!

5) The Christian Heritage conference’s keynote speakers have encouraged, exhorted and taught us on a wide range of topics.  Keynote speakers in the past have been 2006: Doug Phillips, Steve Maxwell, Dr. Brian Ray;  2007 Voddie Baucham, James McDonald; 2008 Doug Phillips; 2009Viddie Baucham; 2010 Ken Ham, Kevin Swanson; and in 2011 Kevin Swanson, Geoffrey Botkin.  This year we are privileged to hear Voddie Baucham speak again.  The Patriarch was so blessed by him in 2007 & 2009 that he has been looking very forward to his return this year!

6) The entire Christian Heritage conference is very well organized starting with the greeters at the door, the registration table, information booth, speakers, vendor hall, and including the CD & DVD ordering.  And they get better and better every year!  No matter how big the conference is, or how busy anyone is, there is a sweetness and courtesy not usually found out in town today that is like a cup of cold water to a thirsty man.

7) The DVDs & CDs.  Yes, I know we could just order them online and skip the conference… but I can not imagine missing this conference!!!  The CDs & DVDs are also offered at a special conference price… so it’s a WIN, WIN!!  The CDs & DVDs are a way for me to have all the workshops I wanted, but couldn’t physically attend!  There is only one of me!!  We get to watch the excellent messages again as a family and  listen to various teaching as we drive in the van or sit at home.  I don’t know about you, but as we watch or listen to these presentations again many times I hear something I missed in the original hearing.  The topics are broad ranging and are timeless treasures!

New this year! The CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
“SEASONS OF DISCIPLESHIP” COLLECTION …
Audio Messages to Fit Your Family’s Needs

WHAT ARE THEY & WHERE DO I GET THEM?
This COLLECTION contains 11 sets of past CH Conference messages—selected for their timeless Biblical and practical encouragement for equipping your household:

  • Tailored to meet you where you’re at as you go through the seasons of parenting and as your family’s requirements change
  • 10 CD’s per Set—assembled by topic to suit the many needs of homeschooling families
  • Available at Special Conference Prices at the CHRISTIAN HERITAGE CONFERENCE Booth (#24-25)—along with the popular Father & Son Retreat and Mother & Daughter Teas CD’s
  • After the Conference, available via our CH Online Store at ChristianHeritageOnline.org

OTHER “SEASONS OF DISCIPLESHIP” SETS:
(Click Here to see all Speakers and Sessions in each Set)
~ SET 1 – Christian Heritage Conference Favorites
~ SET 2 – Godly Parenting & Family Relationships
~ SET 3 – Helpful Homeschooling Nuts & Bolts
~ SET 4 – Getting a Great Start
~ SET 5 – Keep Going – You CAN Do It!
~ SET 6 – Moving Forward into Adulthood
~ SET 7 – Conquering Learning Challenges
~ SET 8 – Discipleship Wisdom for Moms
~ SET 9 – Discipleship Wisdom for Dads
~ SET 10 – Encouragement for Sons (& Their Parents)
~ SET 11 – Encouragement for Daughters (& Their Parents)

Great for Personal, Family, and Group Bible study ~
and to Give as Gifts for Any Occasion!

8) We get to see friends we don’t see on a regular basis and meet new friends!

9) During break times, the young men have a football game on the lawn outside the main doors.  There are fellas wearing suits, jeans and everything in between.  It is a great way to burn off some of the pent up energy in young men!  I find it encouraging that the older young men do not shun the younger ones, but cheerfully include them in the game.  That is a rarity these days!

If you are in the neighborhood, please join us April 26th – 28th, 2012 for the

7th Annual Christian Heritage

Family Discipleship & Homeschooling Conference!!

Registration is available at the door.  We would love to see you there!!  :-)

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)


Other posts you may be interested in:

Why We Homeschool

Daily Renewal – When Mothering Feels Too Hard

This post also linked here:

Resolution – MORE Attentive to DH

Peder Severin Kroyer

The fourth item on my resolution list is:

#4 More Attentive to my Husband.

The Patriarch is undemanding.  But I KNOW the cluttered house bugs him, though he doesn’t say a lot about it.  I want to get it all ship shape to please him.  He’s been pleased with what I have done so far!!

I need to be more deliberate about looking for more ways to be attentive to him.

One thing I have been trying to do is stop reading on my computer and turn to look at him when he is reading something to me from his computer.  He thought it was important enough to share with me so I should really listen better!  Shame on me for not doing this before.

This was not the resolution I thought I should work on first… apparently the Lord thought otherwise.  This past 25 days I have been given the privilege to demonstrate attentiveness and respect to The Patriarch  in a way I was not expecting.

You see, The Patriarch has been out of work since the 5th of March.

There are many things I could say about our situation but worried, grumbling and unhappy are NOT three of them!  :-D  In fact we have been experiencing ‘the peace the passes all understanding’ from the very beginning of this current circumstance.  Your prayers for our job need would be appreciated.

On one of our walks the other day, both Arrow & I separately and unprompted, told the Patriarch that we have loved having him at home!  I did tell him that having a regular source of income would also be nice, but I will miss him terribly when he has to leave to go to work everyday.

When I made my resolutions list our current jobless situation was no where on the horizon.  The Lord has interesting ways of allowing me to demonstrate my resolution resolve!!

Being without a paycheck for the past four weeks also makes me even more thankful we have been preparedness minded!!  We have plenty of food, toiletries, education materials, entertainment activities, clothing, etc. and I have only had to go out to purchase perishables like milk and lettuce.  We were also able to pay all our bills this month.

We are trusting the Lord to bring about another job or have us start a home business (besides my soap).  There are a few job irons in the fire, but I am not at liberty to share any more than that at this time.

Blessings?  Why yes we have seen some from this extended time of joblessness.

1. The Patriarch’s blood pressure has been going steadily down!  The systolic is down 33 & diastolic is down about 17 from it’s highest reading!!  That’s a very good thing!  We are working at getting it even lower, but at least it is headed in the right direction!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. We have been able to have daily devotions both morning and evening!  Currently we are using two of Kevin Swanson’s books.  Proverbs in the morning and Genesis in the evenings.

In our Genesis reading for tonight was chapter 20 where Abraham’s wife if taken by Abimelech king of Gerar.  One question at the end was specifically for me, but I suspect that I may not be the only one who is in need of trusting…

Section end on how this passage teaches us to walk with god in faith and obedience:  “God doesn’t instruct wives to submit to their husbands out of blind trust in their husband’s impeccable wisdom.  Not at all!  They should submit to their husbands because they trust in a GOD of infinite wisdom.” – page 98

Family discussion questions:  How can a wife submit to her husband even when it seems like her husband is making some unwise choices?  Is there any point at which she should not obey her husband?

My answer:  I can readily submit to you, cheerfully so, because I know that God will use all the circumstances in our lives for our good.  God can always be trusted, even when the situation may look grim.  I know you did not mean this for our hurt (unlike Joseph’s brothers) but God means this for our good.  the only point where I should not obey you is where you ask me to violate scripture.

3. We are quite well rested!  We have been going to bed early and rising after a full night’s, restful sleep!  Since sleep is the number one thing you can do to begin healing your adrenals, I think we are on our way!  We have eliminated the major stresses, are getting proper sleep, reduced the caffeine to only tea and only in the mornings, have been limiting computer time (we don’t have television), and are getting regular exercise in our walks.  I have also reduced everyone’s sugar intake by using half stevia when and where I can along with de-cluttering the house (a stress factor).

4.  Gives me a chance to work with our preparedness supplies.   Actually cooking with our stored foods on a more regular basis.  As well as giving me the opportunity to be creative with what we have and make do with what’s already there.  One thing I already knew – we need to organize our supplies!!

Off to bed for us…

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Other posts you may be interested in:

My New Year’s Resolutions

Regarding Resolutions

Happy Valentine’s Day

LAF Has  Returnd

This post also linked to:

Regarding Resolutions

I found these two lists that have suggestions to help you actually make good on your New Year’s resolutions.

Yes, I do know this is the end of March!  But I am still working on my resolutions.

  1. Pick one resolution, or one more than you completed last year. Your odds of staying focused improve.
  2. Look at last years list and evaluate where you failed. Too ambitious? Where did you give up? Use this self-knowledge to inform this year’s resolutions.
  3. Break any resolution into monthly goals so you have short term focus.
  4. Find a friend who can sign up to the same goal. We are social creatures, and our goals should be social.
  5. Write down the resolution and sign it. Writing has power.
  6. Put your written resolution somewhere useful (e.g. in front of the fridge)
  7. Have a daily positive task – mark off a day on a calendar every day you’ve met your resolution. You get a positive visual reminder you’re on your way.
  8. Divide further: simply make a resolution for January, and re-evaluate on Feb 1st.

1.  go beyond superficial and connect to core values

2.  be specific

3. have 0r get support

4. focus on one at a time

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Other posts you may be interested in:

My New Year’s Resolutions

Resolution-More Attentive to DH

Why We Homeschool

Once upon a time there was a family.  They were a tiny family which consisted of dad (The Patriarch), mom (~Mrs. R), and 1 son (Peter Bunny).

One day, in the far by and by of the early 90′s, a notice came home from Peter Bunny’s school about the sex education video about to be shown in health class… and gave Peter Bunny’s parents the opportunity to preview said video.

So off his parents went, traveling over hill and dale, to school on ‘previewing’ day.  Peter Bunny’s parents were the only ones who previewed the video.

Peter Bunny’s parents were upset that abstinence was presented as ‘just another option’ and only mentioned a bare handful of times in the nearly hour length production.  They knew all too well the devastation a lack abstinence can bring.

The Patriarch, Peter Bunny’s daddy, expressed his dismay to the teacher.  She then informed him that ‘they’ were not allowed to teach ‘moral values’… blah… blah… blah.  But the truth is they do teach moral values, theirs not ours!  The moral of this story is that the public school system was immoral years ago… and it has NOT improved!

I remembered one math teacher who told me he didn’t assign any homework because the kids never do it anyway.  WHAT!??  They don’t have time to do the assignment IN class yet it is never assigned for outside of class?

We pulled Peter Bunny out of public school after that.  He was in 7th grade.

My first homeschool teaching task was to evaluate Peter Bunny’s learning to determine where I needed to  start my teaching — He could hardly read!  His reading ability was at or below the 2nd grade level.  I was shocked to my core.  I thought I remember him getting good grades on his report cards…

I then located his report cards from my files.  Yes, he was marked as “on grade level” in reading…

WAIT!!!  What was THIS!??

Our young Peter Bunny had been in remedial reading classes for at least 2 years.  HOW could he be marked as ON grade level when he wasn’t even IN a grade level class??? To add further insult to injury his ‘remedial reading teacher’, who gave out these marks, was a member of our church!  Was this deliberate dishonesty?  What was going on here??

I spent our first year of homeschooling teaching our 7th grader how to read, from the ground up, beginning with a thorough review of phonics.  It brought joy to my heart to ‘catch’ him reading, of his own volition, and for pleasure!  I was frequently heard saying “Reading is foundational to learning”, and “How can he study God’s word if he can’t read?”

Twelve years later, when Arrow came along, we were firmly convinced that he would never, ever, ever set one foot inside a public school.  Ever.

Over the years I have read a number of things that have helped me understand homeschooling and it’s history, the failure of the public school system, and the mandate from the Lord to take responsibility to teach our children.

Here Are Our Top Ten Reasons We Homeschool

1) God’s word tell us to.

Deuteronomy 6:6 – 7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

The plain meaning of these verses is that your children should be instructed in things of the Lord all throughout the day from earliest rising to retiring for the night.  How can that happen when they are gone from home the majority of their waking hours?

2) Homeschooling has deepened our family bonds.  There is a deep love and genuine concern for each other that doesn’t develop when each family member spends large chunks of time separated from the others.

3) Godly character training happens only at home.  Mom and/or Dad are the only ones who are authorized by the Lord to administer corporal correction.  The parents are the ones who know each child intimately and what character traits need to be addressed or what struggles a child has.

4) There is no ‘bad company’ to corrupt our son’s ‘good morals’ (or morals in training) in our school.  ‘Bad company’ can also be in the form of computers, tv, movies, books and music – so constant vigilance must be maintained.  Those things are so much easier to control when your children are with you all day long.  It has been a joy to have Arrow with me all day, every day.  Don’t get me wrong, some days are h-a-r-d.  But anything worth doing is seldom ‘easy to do’.  There are also many resources out there to help you with just about any problem that comes up.  Many times it comes down to the need for more character training.

1 Corinthians 15:33    Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

5)  The Lord says in Psalm 127 that children are an inheritance.  Would I hand over my monetary inheritance to strangers, to have complete control over, without any supervision from me, for 12 l-o-n-g years?  No!  Why would I do that with the inheritance of far superior value – my children?

Psalm 127

 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

6) As we “walkest by the way”, running errands, shopping, on field trips, etc our children’s Godly training (or lack thereof) is visible to a watching world.  There is something SO different about a child with Godly character training!!  We are asked lots of different questions throughout the year about why we are different.  When was the last time you saw a 12-year-old public-school boy cheerfully hold open a door for anyone?!!

7) We have no drug or alcohol problems in our school.  We have no violence problems in our school.  We have no gang problems in our school.  We have no immodesty problems in our school.  We have no pornography in our curriculum, libraries or ‘school lockers’.  We have no promiscuity in our school.  We have no bullying in our school.

8) I have the freedom to choose what teaching materials will work best for our family, our child’s learning style, and our budget.  I am not required to utilize the dumbed-down, politically correct and historically inaccurate history textbooks used by the public schools.  There is no homosexual agenda in any of our books.  I am free to include God in each of our school subjects – God’s providence in history, math rules reflect an orderly Lord, grammar and proper punctuation to communicate the gospel to others with clarity & understanding, God as THE Creator of the universe in science, clear evidence presented in support of a global (NOT localized) flood, proof presented that clearly refutes evolutionary theory (it is NOT a fact), and MUCH, MUCH more.

9) Incorporating piano lessons, field trips, and other “non-school seat work” can happen whenever we want it to.  Our schedule is flexible and can be changed to accommodate Daddy’s work hours, a medical emergency, visiting relatives or any number of things that come up in life.

10) When “life” happens, our schooling doesn’t stop – it make take a different form for  a bit.  Such as when I broke my arm, Arrow’s “school-time seat work” came to a screeching halt. He spent hours doing all the things I suddenly couldn’t do for myself!  You can read more about that journey here.

I want to call your attention to something.  Though the homeschool education is far superior to anything the public schools can dish out, that reason doesn’t even make our top ten list!

What is the hardest part of homeschooling?  It isn’t the teaching.  It isn’t correcting the numerous papers.  It is me.  Maintaining consistency day in and day out is the hardest task – - – and all with a proper attitude.

But the rewards are are well worth the time and effort it takes!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

This post also linked here:

Daily Renewal when Motherhood Feels too Hard

Click here to view more details

I don’t know about you… but I have been so tired lately.  Not just a physical tired, but a battle-weary, need a daily bit of encouragement kind of tired.  The soul-weary and emotionally worn out kind of tired.  Though I do know others who are also stay-at-home homeschooling moms, I still feel so ‘alone’ at times.

I was listening to Kevin Swanson’s 2010 Family Economics Series the other day.  In his talk “A Biblical Economy – The Opportunity of Our Century” he states that over 40% of 5 year olds are latch key kids!  And we wonder why the nations children are “growing up” without any decent character traits…?

As one of a small minority of mothers who does stay at home with her child(ren), I am always appreciative when I find something that will give me encouragement in my God-given job of mom.  It is said that a Navy wife is the toughest job in the Navy.  That is so true, to which I can personally attest.  I would also have to say that a biblical, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother is the toughest job in the church.

Of all places… the church (generally speaking) is the last place where we mothers can even find a modicum of encouragement for the role God has ordained for us!  In most instances, the modern, American, evangelical church is our most ardent opposition.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus

will be persecuted,

2 Timothy 3:12

That is why I am so excited about this new devotional by Kelly Crawford.  In case you don’t remember, Kelly’s home was destroyed in a tornado last April and she had a tiny newborn!

Yet despite these trials Kelly and her family glorified the Lord day in and day out.  I can’t think of another person who would KNOW so intimately the emotional and spiritual weariness of motherhood!!  Can you imagine continuing to love, nurture and school your children without a home?

Here is what is being said about Kelly’s new book:

“When mothers are strong, their children — regardless of the challenges they face — tend to be strong. When they’re resilient and filled with faith, their children are likely to be resilient and filled with faith…The destiny of mankind is in the hands of mothers….” -Neal Maxwell

This book is your comrade in the trenches. It is a life-book, you will want to read over and over, written in small snippets for daily renewal.”

“This eBook is Kelly’s “cup of cold water” to mothers. We all need refreshment and encouragement when the hard days come, and Kelly has provided bite-sized (but meaty and thought-provoking) daily devotionals that urge us to take our calling as mothers seriously but remember at the same time that we are vessels of clay in need of God’s filling. These words are true whether you are the mother of one or the mother of ten! Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your beautiful insights into the calling of motherhood “from the trenches!” -Jennie Chancey

It will be released Monday, 20 February 2012!

Not only will it be available on Monday…

it will only cost $1!!

Though that low price will only hold for one day.

Blessings, Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

I am an affiliate for Generation Cedar.

The State of the Church

This is so true of the church today in 2012 much less in 1879…

“There is a common complaint in these days, that there is a lack of power in Christianity, and that the church does not shake the world as it did in former years. Shall I tell you what the reason is, in plain words? It is the low tone of life which is so sadly prevalent among professing believers. I believe we fall far short in our standard of Christian practice.

The times require a higher standard of personal holiness, and an increased attention to practical religion in daily life.

I must honestly declare my conviction, that there never has been . . .
so much profession of religion–without practice,
so much talking about God–without walking with Him,
so much hearing God’s Words–without doing them,
as there is at this present date!

Never were there so many empty tubs and tinkling cymbals!

Never was there so much formality–and so little reality!

The whole tone of men’s minds on what constitutes practical Christianity seems lowered. The old golden standard of the behavior which befits a Christian, appears debased and degenerated. You may see scores of religious people (so-called) continually doing things which in days gone by, would have been thought utterly inconsistent with vital Christianity! They see no harm in such things as theater-going, dancing, incessant novel reading–and they cannot in the least understand what you mean by objecting to them! The ancient tenderness of conscience about such things seems dying away and becoming extinct, like the dodo-bird.

And when you venture to remonstrate with those who indulge in them, they only stare at you as an old-fashioned, narrow-minded, fossilized person, and say, “What is the harm?” In short, laxity and levity are the common characteristics of the rising generation of professors.

Where is . . .
the self-denial,
the redemption of time,
the absence of luxury and self-indulgence,
the unmistakable separation from earthly things,
the manifest air of being always about our Master’s business,
the singleness of eye,
the simplicity of home life,
the high tone of conversation in society,
the patience, the humility, the universal love–
which marked Christians seventy or eighty years ago? Yes, where is it indeed? We have inherited their principles–but I fear we have not inherited their practice!

The Holy Spirit sees it–and is grieved! The world sees it–and despises us. The world sees it–and cares little for our testimony. It is life, life–a heavenly, godly, Christ-like life–depend on it, which influences the world!”

J. C. Ryle in 1879

We need more preachers who preach like this and not the ‘feel good’ twaddle most are fed in the church today!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)