Homemade Foundation (Make-Up)

I tried making homemade foundation a couple of weeks ago. After some tweaking, I’m happy with the results!

Two Ingredients: Shea Butter, Cocoa Powder!
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Compared to an ingredient list on conventional liquid foundation, I’m happy! Who wouldn’t want to rub Shea Butter on their face every day?!

I will say… it takes about an hour for the smell of cocoa to dissipate, kind of smells like you’re wearing a chocolate cake for the first 60 minutes. But the Shea Butter is so nourishing! And for $6.29 I have enough foundation for more than a year (years?)

And as always, my favorite part of using natural products in my home is that should there be an emergency and a child decides to play with/ eat my product, it’s perfectly fine! Not desirable, but perfectly fine!
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If you choose to make your own, the instructions are incredibly simple. Mix a tiny bit of cocoa into some shea butter until smooth. Start with the tiniest amount of cocoa (maybe even consider a lighter powdered ingredient if you’re really fair skinned). It only takes a tiny bit of cocoa to color the shea butter. Add more cocoa if you need it darker. Add in more shea butter if you need it lighter. It will rub in lighter than it appears in the jar.

Notes from Homeschool Conference

I recently went to a homeschool conference and got to hear some great speakers!  Here are some of my random notes!…

Below are my notes from Carol Barnier, who is HILARIOUS!  She had me crackin’ up!  Her website devoted to helping families with a distractable child (including ADHD and children on the autism spectrum) is here.

—”If you want to thrill me on our anniversary, don’t take me on a cruise, bring me home a quality microscope or a fetal pig floating in formaldehyde.”

—”Elimination diet- we tried it and the only thing it eliminated was family harmony!”

—”When we married, we were shallow and materialistic. We only cared about a nice car, big house, and stuff. We practically fell into homeschooling, kicking and screaming.”

—”When people ask, “Why do you have so many children?” Pull out a hole-punch card and say, “Doctor says if we get to 11, the 12th one is free, Daddy loves a deal!”

—”If you’re going to choose to homeschool…
-Say goodbye to your dust rag
-Purchase at least one denim jumper- the homeschoolers uniform
-Put an ABC chart in your minivan because you will homeschool there.”

—”If you put two homeschoolers in a room, you’re going to get three opinions.”

—”There’s pressure in the homeschool community to have quiet, calm, perfectly-behaved children. Be set free from this pressure!! Don’t react harshly to your child because you’re worried about how YOU look to others- that’s called pride.”

—”There is no second-class status in God’s family.  You don’t have to feel inferior to someone who seemingly is a spiritual giant.”

—”Just like you don’t criticize a work of art before it’s completed, don’t criticize your child- God’s not done with them yet either.”

—”There are many advantages homeschoolers have over public school children.  For one, we don’t have to deal with our children being bullied on the school bus. 160,000 kids miss the bus daily to avoid bullying.  Truly an issue we don’t have to deal with.”

—”Don’t feel bad for your child if they are a sibling of a special needs child.  They have it easier than your child with special needs, they are the ones at an advantage even if you feel like you spend all your time on your SN child.  The sibling advantages:
-Less judgmental of others, they don’t think mom has to perpetually entertain them, they are more considerate of others that don’t fit in, they are independent creators that will grow up to do really neat things.”

—”You will always need patience, the need doesn’t go away, there will always be challenges that require patience.”

—”Your children are not really yours. It will change how you parent and homeschool when you realize you need to carry out GOD’S plan for your child, instead of your own.”

Notes from Todd Friel:

—”God is more interested in your holiness than in your comforts.”

—”God doesn’t say, ‘Oh, you’re a homeschool family, I’ll make your children behave perfectly.’”

Notes from Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom:

—”Train your children so well at chores that they work you out of a job.”

—”Step back and look at all the work that needs to be done and realize your children are your God-given, built-in servants!  Homeschooling is a full-time job in and of itself, let your children do the chores.”  It is one of the best gifts her parents gave her, a strong work ethic.

—”It’s just a couch, it’s not worth anger or frustration or cutting into your daughter’s heart (young daughter put 5 cuts in the new couch using scissors).”

—”At the store when your children ask for something, simply say, “Did you bring your money?” If they have enough for something, let them buy most anything they choose. Later, when they get home and that $3 toy breaks, discuss the lessons of that.”  You don’t have to feel pressured to make a decision at the store whether or not to buy it, you ask them how much money they have.

—”It’s powerful for your kids to make a meal sacrifice (beans and rice for dinner) and give that money to children in absolute poverty.”

—”Shave 1-3% on your grocery bill next month. That’s do-able, achievable.”  Keep doing that until you reach a number that works well for your family.

—”To save money, just use less.  Use less meat, use it as a condiment instead of as a main (meat in a casserole/ soup instead of an entire meatloaf).  Use less laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, etc.  I don’t know who writes those bottle instructions, but you do not need that much soap!  Try running a load of laundry with no soap and you’ll probably still see suds because of all the extra soap lining your washing machine from previous loads.”

“If you get a foaming hand soap bottle (must be this kind), you can forever make your own foaming hand soap for pennies.  Put a little CLEAR liquid soap in the bottom, fill the rest with water.  Wa-lah, foaming hand soap!  You can even add a few drops essential oil if you want it scented.”  (I’m going to try this with my Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds!)

Homemade Bread and Vinegarette

Nothing more satisfying than hot, fresh bread dipped in some yummy vinegarette!  Here’s how we do it!…
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For the bread I pretty much follow this recipe (click here).

I do make a few changes though…

-I don’t use the dough enhancer it calls for, doesn’t need it in my opinion.

-I add a little extra sweetener (like 2-3 Tbsp Agave Nectar).

-If you want a spongier bread and you’re not sensitive to gluten, you may add 2T Vital Wheat Gluten (Bob’s Red Mill brand makes this).

-And here’s to a TASTY crust!… To make a sweet crust, I mix up some melted coconut oil and some coconut palm sugar in a small bowl. After the dough is shaped into the loaf pans, I brush on the mixture before letting it rise the 2nd time. Makes for a nice, sweet crust!

Tip for Slicing:  For slices for sandwiches later, let it cool in the fridge completely and then cut it while it’s cold, I’ve found it slices better that way, you can slice thinner than when it’s warm.

And here’s my signature Vinegarette recipe that is great for dipping any breads! So yummy!…
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-2Tbsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best) (We juice many lemons at a time and freeze them in 2T-sized icecubes, so lemon juice is always ready to use!)

-1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (Mineral-rich salt that is so healthy for you!)

-1/2 cup Olive Oil (Bragg’s brand just taste better, we’re hooked!)

-1-2 Tbsp Honey, depending on how sweet you want it (Local, Raw Honey is best)

-1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

-Adjust anything if needed, to taste preference. Enjoy!
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Cashew Dressing/ Veggie Dip/ Mayo Substitute/ Sour Cream Substitute

(I’ve posted this recipe before but thanks to MoneySavingMom, it recently had almost 500 views in one day!  It’s just so popular!  =)   So I wanted to repost for all my readers too!)  Thanks Sherry for sharing this recipe with me so long ago!

This is a vegan dressing (no dairy!) that is super healthy!  Have no guilt whatsoever for dipping endlessly or smothering your salad in this goodness!

If you make this recipe with less water, it’s thick like a dip.  If you add more water, it’s thin like a salad dressing.

When I make it thick, I use it as a sour cream substitute on things like tacos, mexican dishes, etc.  I also use it to make my mashed potatoes creamy.  And we use it like mayo on sandwiches and wraps too!

I haven’t bought sour cream or mayo in years!  This is all I’ve been using for mayo/ sour cream/ veggie dip for more than 6 years!  This recipe is a staple that’s pretty much always in my refrigerator.  If you’re tired of store-bought dressings/ condiments with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, try this superfood recipe!
DSCN9243Ingredients:
Water (1 1/2 Cup or more for a Salad Dressing; as little as a 3/4 Cup if this is for a Dip/ Spread)

1 Cup Cashews (Raw if you can!) (OR for a variety in your diet, you can do 1/2 Cup Cashews and 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds (Raw!)

2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (hello minerals!) (more to taste if desired)

1/2 tsp Pepper (more or less depending on how you like it, sometimes the more peppery batches taste better!)

1 tsp Fresh Onion Pieces,  (or more if you’d like, I use more)

1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice (you can use lemon juice from a jar, but I think fresh tastes way better)

1 Garlic Clove (or more if you’d like, so many health benefits to raw garlic!)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil  (Or you can do no oil and that’s good too. You can also use Organic Canola Oil- make sure it’s organic so you’re not getting GMO oil!)  (Coconut oil will make your dressing thicken up in the fridge since coconut oil turns solid at colder temps.  But you can always mix in a little more water later if you need to pour dressing on a salad and it got too thick in the fridge).

Optional- 3 Tbsp Flax Seeds (grind flax seeds separately right before adding using a little  coffee/spice grinder).  Eating flax on all your foods is very nutritious!

Optional- I like to add a few squirts of local, raw Honey as well.

Step One: Blend all ingredients, except the oil, until creamy  (Note:  I’ve never made this in a ‘regular’ blender, as I use a high-powered Vita-Mix, so work with it at your own desire!)  Get it nice and creamy, even if it takes a while!
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Step Two: Drizzle in the oil slowly with the blender going on ‘high’ speed.

Step Three:  Let chill in fridge.

Enjoy!
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Sherry’s Original Recipe and she states:  “Note: You are welcome to use this recipe but if you publish it in any way you may not copyright it.  It is protected as an open source computer program would be.  If you make any changes I know others who use this recipe would like to hear about it. (Me included).”

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I also like to add some balsamic vinegar to my salads!  Adds a little more zip!DSCN7758 DSCN7767

Another Place I Choose Not To Shop!!

The shocking truth about Macy’s Department Stores

Let Macy’s know your family does not join in their celebration of sin.
June 24, 2014

Most American families don’t know about the contemptible role of Macy’s department stores in supporting “gay pride” throughout the nation.

Macy's is a proud sponsor of multiple gay pride paradesThe radical events and activities of a typical ‘pride’ week-end are decadent and highly-sexualized. They are a disgrace to communities and certainly shouldn’t be financially supported by a retailer like Macy’s that claims to serve families.

Sex parades in many cities, among them New York City, Columbus, Phoenix, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Seattle and Kansas City, are supported by Macy’s sponsorship. In Orlando, Macy’s is the “presenting sponsor” of the parade.

The red star that has become Macy’s logo can often be seen floating as a balloon high above the marchers in these parades, and Macy’s employees march in the parade with signs and T-shirts that read “Pride and Joy.” Yet some of their fellow parade participants are partially-clothed and engaged in simulated sex acts, even while children are present. Some floats and signs mock man/woman marriage in support of same sex “marriage” while others outwardly mock sincerely held Christian faith.

More about Macy’s

Throughout the summer months and ‘gay pride” season, Macy’s is making a different choice: to support the degradation of communities through events that are an insult to American families.

This is nothing to be proud of and Macy’s should know better. Their customers certainly do.

TAKE ACTION

Let Macy’s know your family does not join in their celebration of sin. Urge them to stop sponsoring decadence and wantonness on America’s streets. 

Send Your Letter Now!

May/ June Goals Update

You know I look forward to posting my goals updates right??  So fun to actually be making progress on things that matter to me!  How are you doing on your goals??

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  We’re working on this, will take us through December, but I think we’ll be able to complete!

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done for May and June.

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We had done 13 as of the end of April but actually haven’t completed any in May or June (or did I forget to record??)  Seems strange to me that we actually didn’t complete any because we’ve been reading aloud regularly.  But… we have been working on three long ones all at the same time, and they’ll all be completed soon, so maybe that’s why we didn’t actually “finish” any in May/ June.

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We finished reading through the book of Romans, Jonah, Galatians, and Zechariah in May/ June.  We’re currently reading through the book of John at mealtimes.  We’re still adding new Bible verses weekly and working our way through our 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book.  So we’re on track!

Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  We did two in May and five in June, so we’re at 25 for the year, and will keep going.  Fun!

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  Oh yeah, I love having a PLAN and knowing what I need to be doing each day.  Helps me stay on top of birthdays, events to attend, exercise, and more!

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- Ahead of schedule!  Actually, I’ll get through the whole Bible by the end of October this year, if I stay on track.  Yah!

Read 24 books- For May I read two books, in June I finished six books.  So I’m at 37 books so far for 2014.  

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded 868 blessings for the year so far!

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  There’s an ever-growing give-away pile in my garage, on track with this!

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  On track!  You are loved, friends and family!

Witnessing x12- Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  I’m going to change this goal to passing out tracts at least twice per month.  Started this in June after realizing what a failure I’ve been for January thru May.  We passed out tracts twice in June!

Pray for the entire world using online calendarOn track with this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  Done in Jan/ Feb/ March

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Did this for April/ May/ June.  Although, I wasn’t a complete success.  For me, it was WAY harder to LIMIT sugar than to ELIMINATE sugar.  I completely blame it on the fact that sugar is so addicting.  If you let yourself have some, you’ll just want more, right?  I also noticed quite a few times after eating some organic cookies or something that it was really making me feel sick.  I think my body really liked the no-sugar months better!!

15 salads per month- I’m so glad I set this goal because if I do it each month,that will be 180 double-sized salads that I eat in 2014!  Wow!  I’ve met this goal every month this year so far!

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  I’m actually behind by one exercise session.  But I plan on sneaking in an extra one this week and then calling it even.  So I’m doing pretty well at this goal, although I wish I was doing 5-6 walks per week, I don’t think four is enough really.  But… it’s all I’m getting in right now, at least it’s something!    

How I’ve Taught My 3-Year-Olds to Read

My two older boys have learned to start reading at age 3 and were fluent readers who had mastered all basic phonics sounds by age 4.

BUT, every child learns differently, it’s more important to teach your child to love reading than it is to have them reading on their own by age 4!  Go at your child’s pace but constantly challenge them to the next level.  I’ve met wonderful homeschool mom’s who have children that struggle until age 10 to read, that’s OKAY, hang in there!

I think many books and curricula over-complicate things and make it so frustrating for child AND parent.  I’m all about keeping it simple, frugal, and stress-free!  Here’s how WE did it (but go with the method that helps your child best!)…

My biggest secret has been flashcards.  Repetition with flashcards, games with flashcards, hanging flash cards on the wall, and… some more flashcards!  That visual aid that you can repeat many times a day.  Seeing the words, repeating the words, continually adding new words.  They can do flashcards while they jump, while they play with toys, while they drop marbles into a jar, etc, etc!
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Step One: (Capital Letters)
From as young as they can start to comprehend, 18-24 months if possible!, start teaching them their capital letters.  Hang one letter at a time on your wall and point to it many, many times a day.  Keep reviewing previously learned letters by leaving them on the wall also.  You could also make a matching game (or an endless amount of other homemade learning games).  For matching, make two index cards both have the same capital letter, mix them all up, and ask them to find the two matching ones (two matching A’s, for example).

Step Two: (Sounds of Letters)
Once they can  ID all 26 capital letters, or even before, you can teach them that each letter makes a sound, and that each capital has a lowercase.  Teach them the one most basic sound for each letter of the alphabet (don’t worry about explaining to them that the A can make a few different sounds, etc).

“The A says “a” as in hat, bat, cat.  The E says “e” as in bed, pet, led.  The I says “i” as in pig, sin, hit.  The O says “o” as in hot, mop, doll.  The U says “u” as in up, rug, cup.”

Step Three:  (Sounding Out Simple Words)
After they know each capital letter and its most basic sound, they can start combining letters to read simple words!  Make flashcards for one vowel sound at a time.  I make a flashcard for every word I can think of that makes that sound.  This gives them a wider knowledge of words.  For example, bat, hat, cat, mat, rat, sat, pat, at, etc.

At first, sound out the word for them to show them how its done.  Next, have them sound it out by themselves.  Then graduate to slightly harder words for that sound, like… clap, flap, slab, stab, flat, snap, grab, trap, black, track, snack, stack, crack, staff, strap, etc.  Once they’ve mastered the “A,” go on to the next vowel, but keep continually reviewing those “A” words.

Step Four: (Lowercase Letters)
At any point after learning their capitals, you can have them start learning the lowercase letters also.  Start with the easy ones first, the lowercase letters that match their uppercase ones… c, f, j, k, l, m, o, p, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.  Again, any sort of matching games work great for this (have your child match the capitals to their lowercase).  Once they master the easy ones, start adding in the harder ones like a, b, d, e, etc.

Step Five:(Phonics Sounds List)
Okay, so your child can ID all 26 letters of the alphabet in capital and lowercase!  They know the most basic sound that each letter makes.  They can even read simple words like hat, cat, bat!  Now what?

A simple phonics-sound list to go by is all you need as a parent.  Start teaching your child one phonics sound at a time.  For example, show your child how the CH says “ch.”  Make flashcards for every “ch” word you can think of and help them master them!  “Chin, chop, chat, check,” etc.  When they master the first phonics sound, go on to the next one.  Keep reviewing the ones they’ve previously learned.  Never stop reviewing!  Make as many flashcards as you can to increase their repetition and number of words that they know.

Step Six: (Sight Words)
Anywhere in the above process, and as soon as they are ready, you can also have them start to memorize a few sight words, using flashcards of course!  “And, the, so, me, I, do, we,” etc.  Continually add new sight words each week to increase the number of words your child can read!

Don’t forget to let them read BOOKS too!
After my children start their first phonics sounds, I attempt to start very easy little books with them.  Actually, my homemade ones have been our favorites.  You can make your child a book, putting together all the words that they know.
DSCN9104 DSCN9105If you read books with them that contain words they do not know, show them those words so they can start to learn them!

When my children start to read words I’ve never taught them I feel like a miracle has taken place!  It is such a JOY to watch this happen before your very Mama eyes!  By the time you get close to the end of your phonics list, your child will most likely already know those last few sounds without you ever having even taught them!  It’s a miracle:-)

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I had gotten my phonics list from a little book that was given to me, “Happy Phonics.”  I didn’t follow all their ideas, games, or ways of teaching.  I basically just used their phonics list in the back of the book and started working my way through them with my child.  I’m a rebel like that!  :-)

Phonics Groups/ Sounds From “Happy Phonics:”
th- thin, that, with, bath, etc
ch- chin, chop, chip, much, etc
sh- wish, ship, cash, shed, etc
wh- whip, which, when, etc

a3- ball, car, art, star, park, fall, wash, etc

ee- see, tree, seed, sweet, three, etc
ea- eat, treat, beach, wheat, dream, etc

er- her, fern, sister, herd, etc
ir- first, thirst, sir, bird, birth, etc
ur- fur, burn, hurt, turn, etc
wor- work, word, worm, worth, etc
ear- earth, earn, learn, search, etc

_y – my, by, shy, why, try, etc
___y – windy, silly, happy, puppy, etc

ai- rain, train, maid, mail, trail, drain, etc
ay- say, pray, day, clay, spray, etc

oi- oil, boil, coin, point, moist, etc
oy- toy, boy, joy, etc

au- haul, fault, launch, etc
aw- saw, jaw, straw, yawn, etc

sion- vision, session, mission, etc
tion- action, nation, station, fraction, etc

ch (2)- echo, chord, Christ, etc

ea (2)- bread, pear, head, sweat, leather, etc

c (2)- cent, city, circus, center, prince, etc

g (2)- gem, page, giraffe, gel, etc

ou- loud, out, mouth, pound, etc
ow- cow, brown, down, crowd, etc

oa- boat, goat, soak, toast, foam, loaf, etc

ow (2)- snow, show, throw, blow, etc

oo- too, food, moon, broom, zoo, etc
ew- new, blew, chew, threw, screw, etc
u_e- cute, blue, glue, tube, rude, etc
ui- fruit, suit, cruise, etc

gn- sign, gnat, gnaw, etc
kn- knot, knew, knee, knit, etc
wr- write, wrap, wring, etc
__b- lamb, thumb, plumber, etc

-ould- should, would, could

ph- graph, phonics, physical, orphan, elephant, etc

ou (2)- four, pour, your, etc

oo (2)- book, good, foot, shook, etc

igh- high, sigh, night, fight, bright, etc

eigh- eight, sleigh, neighbor, weigh, freight, etc

_y_ – hymn, myth, system, etc

ou (3)- you, soup, group, youth, etc

augh- taught, caught, daughter, etc
ough- brought, sought, thought, etc

ie- chief, grief, priest, piece, cookie, etc
ei- (i before e, except after c)- receive, conceive, deceive, etc
ey- key, honey, turkey, monkey, etc

ey (2)- they, obey, prey, etc

One thing that this list didn’t teach was that the vowel says its name when there’s a silent e on the end.  So you could make flashcards for…
A- rake, made, lake, gate, etc
E- theme, scene, etc
I- bike, ride, file, side, etc
O- nose, tote, mode, sole, etc
U- (is included in above list)- tube, cute, flute, glue, etc

I’m sure you’re done reading this post by now, but one more thing!… After my child has mastered this list, I jot down troublesome words that they come across in a book and make a flashcard out of it.  We practice it until they know the word well.

Hope you enjoy the “miracle” of teaching your child to read!!

My son who is 4 years, 4 months reads at this level right now, you can do it too!…
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Quotes from Michael Farris

I recently read a book by Michael Farris, president of Home School Legal Defense Association.  Although the book was for Dads, it intrigued me so I jumped in.  He covered a wide variety of subjects and had some really good points that are worth repeating.

Quotes from “The Homeschooling Father” by Michael Farris:

“Let me say that I am all for a liberal arts education. I believe that this part of a home schooled child’s education should be fully completed by his or her parents before he or she leaves home.”  (Get your ‘liberal arts’ education at home, not by paying big bucks at college for it).

“I do not believe that college should be used as a substitute for a proper education in childhood. Build a base that is deep and wide at home and then use college primarily as preparation for a career. And pursue college alternatives that are available for the career path you have chosen.”

“If you were to choose only one method (college or apprenticeship), apprenticeship will beat classroom instruction every time.”

“When we talked and planned in the 1950s and 1960s we never dreamed that secular humanism, New Age curriculum, or condoms would be the subjects of instruction in the public schools.”

“Don’t just pay big money for college and assume you did what was best for your child. That same $50,000 could start up your child’s small business instead of buying English literature. Don’t pay extra so your children can learn philosophy and a Christian world-view, those should be taught at home. If you want your children to have supplemental, specialized training in developing a Christian worldview, send them to the two-week program offered by Summit Ministries. If you want them to spend some time getting well rounded and enlarging their frame of reference, send them on a short-term missions project to another culture.”

“I am simply urging that the majority of the time and expense of college should be spent for career preparation, not personal enrichment.”

“The vast majority of people engage in dating based on the criteria that the other person is interesting and attractive. We teach our daughters to only pursue a relationship when both the young man and the daughter are prepared for marriage and that he appears to meet the spiritual standards the parents and daughter have agreed upon for a husband. Dads, your first job in this area is to secure your children’s commitment to following these principles in relations with the opposite sex. Don’t wait until they are 16-17. You will have waited far too long.”  (Talk to your children about purity from very young ages and repeat many times over).

“By the time I was in junior high, some of my friends were engaging in sexual intercourse. After all, they had been “going with girls” for years and were tired of waiting for “the real thing.”

“The vast majority of parents want their children to abstain from sexual relationships until marriage. However, we have failed to see that abstinence should include emotional abstinence as well. In other words, if we permit our children to develop boyfriend-girlfriend relationships before they are ready to get married, we are simply asking for sexual temptation.”

“We can’t ask our children to stay sexually pure while allowing them to be engaged in emotional romance and playing the boyfriend/ girlfriend game in elementary and junior high schools.”

“Preparing your sons for marriage: A man is not ready for marriage until he is ready to work and take care of his family’s finances.”

Chucking College

I recently heard Melanie Ellison, author of “Chucking College” speak and thought she had such great points on college educations.

High cost of college, massive amounts of student loan debt, wasted time learning things that don’t matter, loss of income while attending school, absence of hands-on apprenticeship skills that are very valuable in the marketplace, and the obvious horrid influences of alcohol and partying, among other things.

Yes, some jobs require a degree but Americans waste THOUSANDS of dollars on “higher education” while ignoring the most valuable assets to an employer… a hard work ethic, dependability, a sharp mind, entrepreneurership, and SKILLS that they gained by WORKING in that field. There are plenty of options to study specific fields (at home, online, certification programs, apprenticeship, etc). A 6-year, expensive degree is most often not a company requirement!

This HILARIOUS video about sums it up.

Date-Less Homeschool Lesson Plans

I recently went to a homeschool conference and heard Linda Hobar speak, among others.  She had such a great idea and I’ve already implemented it into our homeschooling.  The “date-free” or “date-less” planner!

You basically make all the lesson plans you want for your homeschooling (whether you do this by quarters or whatever).  But don’t put it on calendar pages, don’t put it in a date-d planner, don’t write dates anywhere on each day’s plan!!  Don’t date anything!

Now you have built-in flexibility!

If you miss a day of “school,” you just go to the first unfinished lesson plan and do it.  You don’t have to feel guilty for being two weeks behind.  You don’t have to feel like every Monday thru Friday HAS to be “school.”

Freedom!!  I love it!

I’m already a pretty relaxed scheduler when it comes to our “lesson plans.”  Linda stated that since public schools have to do 180 days of school, you could simply write out 180 days worth of lesson plans and know that as long as you get them done in a 365 day period, you are right on track.

We do accelerated homeschool so I don’t follow that 180-day rule, but for those of you that do, why not try the “date-less” planner idea to give you a little more flexibility?!

Here are my sons “date-less” plans for next week (I print off a new sheet each week, because they change what they’re doing that often!)  Note, there are no dates mentioned, not even what day of the week they “should” be done!  (Caden is 4 years, 3 months.  Alex is 6 years, 10 months).

DSCN8800DSCN8801One other thing she suggested is that you have your child highlight items as they complete them.  That way you can still see what was originally on the list!

You can eventually add dates to your planner… once that day has been completed you can write the day you completed it!  :-)

A few of my other notes from other sessions at the homeschool conference…
You never look back and say “We never finished that math program.”  Does your child know how to love others? How to pick a great spouse?  Remember what’s most important in your child’s life as a whole.

Don’t reprimand them over academics, not “getting” math is not their fault.

Just sitting with your child while they are working will settle their brain.

When they resist, sometimes you just need to step sideways (in math, for example) and enrich them before moving forward. Don’t bombard them with too much of the things they’re resisting (math, for example). This discourages them.  Sidestep it until you have them on-board again.

A child may have a fear of success… they know that if they do well mom will only give them even more work/ higher expectations.

For gifted children, or pretty children for that matter, compliment their character only, not the gift (makes the child prideful).