Reading an Hour a Day Every Day

An hour a day…that’s what it takes. An hour a day every day. From the time the children were very small, I read aloud to them. When they became readers themselves, I began requiring each of them to to read for half an hour. As soon as they were reading chapter books, that stretched to an hour a day. No need to keep on with reading lessons. They learned comprehension as they read. They narrated to me. It was clear by their narrations whether they understood what they read. They became more fluent as they read.
I now have a young adult and three teens. One daughter recently took a college entrance test and received a score in the 99th percentile for reading.
An hour a day… all of my children love to read.
I think it’s working.
~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

 

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Why We Homeschool

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Someone recently asked me why we homeschool.  This is what I told her.

I was trained as a teacher in college.  I didn’t find a position right out of school, so I went to work in insurance.  When my first son was born, after much prayer and many discussions with my husband, we decided that I’d be a stay-at-home mom until he started school.

As school age approached, I became aware of homeschooling through Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program and through some books that crossed my path. After research and prayer, my husband and I became convicted that it was God’s will for our family to homeschool.  My son also had some special needs that we felt could be handled best in a home environment.  We’ve been homeschooling since 1995.

So, here are some of our reasons:

1.  We believe that God gave us, as parents, the responsibility to teach and train our children.

2.  We believe that we are to protect the innocence of our children as well as physically protect our children.

3.  We believe our family is closer because we live life together on a daily basis.

When our family grew, our little school did as well. I’ve found that there are some advantages:

1.  Learning takes place at each child’s pace rather than trying to keep up with a class or wait for a class.

2.  Children thrive with individual attention.

3.  Negative influences from peers are limited.

4.  I can teach them truth from God’s Word as absolute truth.  All other subjects, especially science, are viewed from that biblical perspective.

5.  My children are better socialized than school children.  They know how to interact with adults and children well.  Homeschool groups and church provide playmates.

6.  They have more time for following individual interests.  One of my daughters writes worship songs and participates on our worship and dance teams at church.  One of my sons is teaching himself to make knives and raises animals.  My youngest enjoys sewing and crafts.

7.  They’re not afraid of speaking in front of people.


8.  Homeschooling works well for families that have fathers who work unusual hours as well.

These are some reasons we homeschool; but, ultimately, we homeschool because that is what God called us to do.
You can find more information about homeschooling at http://hslda.org. That’s the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

Laura

 

This is reprinted from my other blog, Harvest Lane Cottage.

A Lovely Snowy Morning

20Good morning!  We’re having a lovely snowy morning here in Southwest Missouri.  I was planning to go to my Quilting Circle today, but the snow has made other plans for me. ~smile~ I do love a snowy day, but wish I were with my quilting friends.

So, what shall I do?

~ Sort and organize books for homeschooling next year

~ Sew a bit

~ Some read aloud

~ Soup for supper

Oh there are so many possibilites on a snow day!

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One thing’s for sure, it will be a day to keep the old wood stove going!

Laura

Happy at Home

My Daybook…

FOR TODAY, DECEMBER 8TH…
Outside my window…darkness.  It’s far before dawn here in Missouri.

I am thinking… I need to get busy.  I have to go to a nearby city for my husband’s office Christmas party.  I found out last night that we are to bring “White Elephant” gifts.  The $ limit is $10.  I’ll be shopping at home from my stash!
I am thankful for… an e-mail from my grandma!  She’s recently moved and I lost her for a few weeks!
From the learning rooms…  a shortened day because of my trip.  Definitely math, language arts, and reading.

From the kitchen…  quick and simple.  Breakfast-toast.  Lunch-soup made from yesterday’s leftover brisket, potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic.
I am wearing… Must I say?  I’m wearing my flannel nightgown.  It’s only 5:30 in the morning here as I write.
I am creating… a list in my head of things I want to create.  I’ll be writing them down soon.  Today, as we drive, I’ll probably be crocheting a hanging handle on a dishtowel.  I have a friend who has ordered two from me.   She doesn’t need them until after Christmas; but, it’s a project that will travel well.
I am going… to my husband’s office Christmas party.
I am hoping… to keep myself organized during this week.  After this week, much of the busy-ness of the season will be finished.  Then, I can focus on finishing projects.
I am hearing… nothing but the hum of the computer, the click of the keys, and silence.  It’s early, mind you!
Around the house… a few things to put away from the weekend…lots of laundry to be done…some ironing to do…more decorating to do.
One of my favorite things…poinsettias!  I hope my Honey reads this and gets the hint!
A few plans for the rest of the week:

Monday- Office Christmas Party

Tuesday-Homeschool Support Group Christmas Party

Wednesday-Caroling and ringing the bells at Wal-Mart with our church to raise money for Salvation Army.

Thursday-Kids’ homeschool Christmas Party

Friday-Friend’s Christmas party

Saturday-Craft fair in the day, just attending, and a Christmas play that night.

Sunday-possibly going to Branson to take in a show, if I can find a babysitter.

BREATHE LAURA BREATHE!
Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Making Cookies

Making Cookies

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook to see what other ladies are doing this week and to join in the fun.

It will be a very busy week, full of Christmas party preparations.

The only really important way that we must prepare for Christmas is in our hearts.  The rest of it is all for fun.  Let’s not forget that.  Jesus is the reason that we celebrate Christmas.  Jesus, the baby in the manger, God’s son, grew up to be the sinless sacrifice for our sins.  Let’s reclaim this holiday this year.

Laura

Keeping my Focus

Something to Think About…Doing it Right….

“What we forget is that following God makes us different- from unbelievers, but also from one another.  God has created each of us uniquely and for a specific purpose; and in that purpose we can dare to accomplish what he asks of us.”

-Judith Couchman Daring to Be Different

As a young mother, and as a homeschooler, I’ve often looked to other mothers to know how to DO IT right.  You know, the right way to diaper, the right way to feed a baby, the right way to dress a toddler, the right way to discipline, the right way to teach my children.

Oh my!  Did I say MY children?  Could it be that teaching their children might be a bit different than teaching MY children?  Of course!  That’s why God gave them to ME to love, nurture, protect, teach and mother.  It took me years to realize that.  I always thought anyone else could be a better mother to my children.  As time has gone by, God has shown me that it’s just not true.  God in his divine wisdom creates the children for the parents and the parents for the children.  Thank you God!

If you’re feeling unsure of yourself.  If you’re feeling like you’re not good enough.  To that I say, Pshaw!  The LORD knew what he was doing when he chose you!  No matter what the circumstances of your child’s birth, or the circumstances you now find yourself in, YOU are chosen to be your child’s momma.  Lean on God, search His WORD and learn of Him.  That’s one reason He sent His Holy Spirit, to be our teacher.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.”

You CAN do this!  Yes, by all means, seek out older mothers, and your own mother for advice and support.

BUT- remember, your best advice and support come directly from the LORD and from the husband He has given you.  If you do not have a husband to love, guide, and protect you, the LORD himself is a husband to the husbandless.  Seek Him!  He’s waiting for you!

I encourage you to seek wisdom in Proverbs and in Psalms.  They are a great place to start.

May the LORD bless your mothering now and for all time.

Laura

Momma to Four Blessings

Something to Think About… The Message of Proverbs 31

I’ll be speaking in our homeschool support group in a couple of weeks about Proverbs 31:20-22.  I thought as part of my preparation that I would read the verses in a few different translations and versions.  This is how The Message interprets these verses.  I thought it was interesting; so, I thought I’d just share it with you all in case you don’t have this version.  This is a direct quote.  You can find all sorts of versions and translations at www.biblegateway.com

Proverbs 31:20-22 (The Message)

The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Hymn to a Good Wife

 10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
   and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
   and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
   all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
   and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
   and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
   for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
   then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
   rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
   diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
   reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
   their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
   and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
   when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
   brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
   and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
   and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
   and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
   her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
   but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
   The woman to be admired and praised
   is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
   Festoon her life with praises!

My friend, Mrs. B.  recently pointed out to me and some other ladies that this is not a real woman.  This is the ideal woman as described by King Lemuel’s mother.  That was a great comfort to me.  This lady seems perfect.  What mother doesn’t want a perfect wife for her son?  Perhaps it’s something to aspire to and work toward rather than a judgement upon those of us (all of us) that are less than perfect.  Know what I mean?
Blessings to you all, I’m up late rather than early!  I guess I’d better get to bed. 
God bless and don’t beat yourselves up over Mrs. P31 anymore!
Laura
Happy at Home

Advice to a New Homeschooling Mother

I thought I’d share with you a bit of advice I gave to a young mother recently.  She was at her wits end and crying out for help. 
Hello,
I just happened upon your blog. I only have four children; but, I can identify with some of your feelings. Having children is indeed a huge responsibility that never ends, just like the work never ends. Allow me to share a few thoughts.First, it sounds like you are exhausted. I’m not sure if you have access to a grandparent or friend who could watch your kids for you or not; but, I think you need a day away. It doesn’t matter what you do. You need some time to clear your head and think. I had half a day last week that did wonders for me.

Second, try to get to bed at a decent hour, so that you can try to get some good sleep.

Third, require everyone to lie down for one hour each afternoon. They may not nap; but, they must lie down. Older ones need an hour of reading each day anyway. During this time, you can rest, read, pray, or do a load of laundry, whatever will help you gear up for the second half of the day.

Fourth, make sure you’re eating fruits and vegetables, dairy and meats, not just high carbohydrate foods. You need nutrients.

Fifth, you may be depressed. Consider speaking with your doctor about whether you need herbal supplements or medication to help for awhile.

Sixth, I agree with the previous commenter, Raising Godly Tomatoes is a good site. You might also look at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org. They have a free magazine and lots of articles on-line. They have a book called “To Train Up a Child” by Michael & Debi Pearl that is excellent.

Seventh, please know that the first year or two of home schooling is hard for most of us. It must be harder starting with a larger family. Don’t give up!
It does pay off even though we can’t always see results day to day. Look for the good and seize it daily.

Eighth, most of all, pray pray pray pray. You can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you.

God bless!
Mrs. Lane