The Joy of Homeschool

The Joy of Homeschool

Discover The Joy of “Home”School by centering our education on homes and families.

Operating as usual

Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 25/12/2023

Merry Christmas from the Vance Family 2023! We caved in and got a .
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We hope you have a wonderful new year and great holiday season!

22/12/2023

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
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Art Credit: Madonna of the Sistine by Raphael

22/12/2023

We’ve been loving the dramatized version of “A Christmas Carol” on our mini . This version of the Christmas Carol is very well done. It’s not just the story being read, but you hear sound effects and all of the characters acting out their parts.
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This is one of our favorite Christmas stories!
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I think we’ll attempt to make some Christmas Pudding this year.
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Have you ever made British Christmas Pudding?
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I’d love your tips!

Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 24/11/2023

This Thanksgiving we got to spend time with my siblings and their families.
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I read are really great talk by Tamara Runia and was reminded how families are the peefect opportunity for us to “ Think Celestial” -Pdt. Nelson
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Here’s a quote from her talk that I loved.
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Remember, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”-

Thankfully, the God we worship is not bound by time. He sees who our loved ones really are and who we really are.
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So He’s patient with us, hoping we’ll be patient with each other.”
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So grateful for families and the opportunities we have to learn and grow together.
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07/11/2023

Ecuadorian “Colada Morada” and Sweet Bread called “Wawa” the Native American language in parts of Ecuador is Kichwa. This bread is in the shape of a baby or “Wawa”.
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I’m currently joining this month and reading “holy Hygge “ by Jamie Erickson.
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Loving the idea that food is a gathering tool and a tool that Jesus Christ used to gather His people.
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Our oldest son is currently serving a mission for in Ecuador and has a passion for food.
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He told us that right now in Ecuador, it’s “Colada Morada” season. This is a drink made with crushed up purple corn, and then any fruit can be added to make it so good.
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He says everyone makes a giant pot and stores it in their fridge. When people come to visit, they pull out their drink and offer some to everyone who comes to their homes.
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He told us every house they go to, offers them this drink and “Wawa”bread.
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I love how in the book “Holy Hygge” Jamie Erickson mentions “sippable drinks” as a way for Danish people to gather.
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This got me thinking how many cultures around the world practice “Hygge” in their own ways.
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We can learn a lot from other cultures about hospitality. I’m excited to implement some of these ideas into our home, and maybe even try making “Colada Morada”! Anyone ever tried this drink?
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31/10/2023

This week I wanted to share a little about how we simplify meals in our home.
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I’m a huge fan of the benefits of family dinner. Dinners are such a great way for families to connect at the end of a long day, and there is so much research as to mental health benefits as well.
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How do I make it happen? We keep it as simple as possible!
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My mom was a huge fan of dinners as well. She had us wait until late hours of the night for my Dad to come home from a demanding job as a lawyer. I’m so grateful for her for this.
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We’ve been following this simple meal plan for the longest time and it really helps so much.
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There are days when I feel like something completely different, but for the most part when I plan my week, or don’t plan🤔, I love having a plan to fall back on.
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Today is meatless Monday, and so I like to make Soups or Salads today.
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Anyone have a favorite meatless recipe they’d love to share?
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I’ll share some of my favorite plant based recipes (specifically soups) in my stories today👆🏼👆🏼
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24/10/2023

“My Heart is Full of Longing for the secrets of the sea.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-
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We read about “Anenomes” yesterday, watched a few videos and read a few books on the ocean. My favorite part of our learning today was when our Lucy asked “Do you think there are oceans in heaven?”
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I never thought of that, but I’d like to think so. Such cute discussions I never want to forget.
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As we read we made this simple ocean craft.
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To make this ocean craft all you need are👇
🐚Seashells- Small preferred
🐚Sand
🐚Blue Paint- different shades of blue.
🐚Fall leaves, googly eyes
🐚Green paint or tissue paper for seaweed
🐚Paper plates, glue
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Have the kids paint their plates blue like the ocean. Using white glue, drizzle it over the bottom and sprinkle sand on top of glue.
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Have kids glue seashells onto the sand.
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To make the fish, cut the leaves the shape of fish, and glue onto plates. Add googly eyes to fish, add seaweed.
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Enjoy! These were so much fun to make and a great way to use our fall leaves for some fun crafting.
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03/10/2023

As our kiddos grow, I have found this quote to be so true.
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You never know what your kids will take from their childhood, but I have seen in our family, that despite my own imperfections as a Mother, the Lord knows my heart and he takes those desires of my heart and places them in the hearts of my children.
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Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 30/09/2023

Have you or your kids ever thought about starting a business?
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It’s a great opportunity to practice real skills of finance and creativity.
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This year some of our kids have been preparing for 6 weeks to prepare for a Children’s Business Fair that our Commonwealth School hosts each year.
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They each have created a small business, chosen a product and are ready to sell.
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We even had a very successful entrepreneur in our area come and talk to our kids about what it takes to succeed in business.
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It’s been amazing!
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This has been a topic that we have read about and studied for years with our older kids, and I was just reminded of all the good books that we’ve read through the years on the topic of entrepreneurship.
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Had to share them! Have you read any of these books?
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We’ll share more about the entrepreneur fair later on today!

18/09/2023

Homeschool Room or Dining Room Table? That is the question…
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In an ideal world we would have a separate space, however, because we don’t have an ideal situation… we’ve had to make do with what we have.
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One thing we’ve always had whether or not my kids were homeschooled or public schooled, was our dining room table.
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Sometimes our trials can become blessings in disguise. Because we don’t have enough space in our home for a seperate learning space, our table has become the center of all of our learning, eating, crafting and anything else. I’ve learned to be ok with this, and even though there are times when I gripe, I know I will be sad when we have more space someday
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This is where most of our learning takes place.
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16/09/2023

Anyone else trying to teach their kids that it’s ok not to be busy.

15/09/2023

These Viking longships with were fun to make.
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Glad we could add these to our studies around the world this year!

08/09/2023

This picture is Motherhood to me…
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When my football player son picks up his little sister after a football game, I know everything is going to be ok.
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Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 07/09/2023

The number 1 thing that has helped our homeschool run smoothly is to get buy-in from our kids.
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I believe kids learn best when they’re fully invested in what they’re learning.
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How do we do this?
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Back to School Dates.
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We usually get smoothies or ice cream, sometimes do manicures or pedicures with my girls.
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I ask them questions like…
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✨What would you like to learn about this year?
✨This year we’re going to be trying…. Do you want to try it out?
✨What talents and skills do you want to get better at?
✨How do you want to earn money for….?
✨Talk about their bodies, puberty, etc…
✨We talk about things like po*******hy and what to do if they encounter it.
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Then I prayerfully find teachers, programs, mentors, classes, curriculum that will help them accomplish their goals.
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Then we make a plan.
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These yearly dates are a really important tradition in our home.
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04/09/2023

Our basic fall rhythm. Having a basic plan of how I’d like our days to go helps so much in our homeschool.
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We have a co-op day and a nature day, but the other days this is what you’ll find us doing at home.

25/08/2023

I wanted to share a story of how Inspiration works in our homeschool.
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I’m a huge believer that we as mothers only need to create the atmosphere, plant the seeds and the Lord will do the rest.
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This morning my kids were quite resistant.
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I began to question my expectations.
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In our home we usually begin our day with a morning devotional and scripture study of some sort.
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My kids both shared that they didn’t feel@like doing this today, so I said, let’s just read a story.
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We read a story from a book that I have set aside for our morning devotionals with short stories( I’ll share it in my stories).
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We read the story and we’re prompted to@take a picture with thumbs up and hang it on the wall in our home.
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Anytime someone responds without complaining or has a positive attitude, we will give them a thumbs up.
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This was the exact lesson we needed today, it couldn’t have been planned more perfectly.
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When we’re willing to do the work of merely reading a story, the Lord will use that opportunity to teach our kids what they need to hear.
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So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. ( 1 Cor.3:7)
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Be willing to plant and God will give the increase.

17/08/2023

I’ll never get tired of watching my kids create.

16/08/2023

“ Why should we all use our creative power and write or paint or play music?….
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Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold, and compassionate.”- Brenda Ueland
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I’m loving the book by Brenda Ueland entitled “ If You Want to Write”
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This year we are prioritizing creativity and I’m so excited!
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It’s so true, one of the greatest joys we can have in life is creativity!

09/08/2023

“Traveling is an opportunity for us to be present with our kids.”- Shannon Tripp
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Today I was listening to podcast and I heard this quote, it’s so true!
- I be know everyone wants to travel more like we do, so I have to share an amazing solution to a little more travel that we figured out on our most recent trip to NYC to pick up our daughter from Africa.
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Even though we didn’t particularly love NYC, we loved spending a little time together and winding down from a big adventure.
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So, today in my stories I’ll share with you how we were able to get 3 free round trip tickets from Reno to NYC using our southwest rewards points.

05/08/2023

I love these tips from Karen Andreola. If you haven’t read Mother Culture by Karen Andreola, I highly recommend it.

My Most VALUABLE ( 8 ) HOMESCHOOL TIPS - 400 words
The teaching method of Christian British educator, Miss Charlotte Mason, makes a good fit in today’s homeschool.

1 . . In her writings Miss Mason insists upon using LIVING BOOKS as schoolbooks. These enliven the mind and secure interest. Classroom textbooks, compiled by a committee, tend to be crammed with dry facts and information. Living books, by contrast, are often written by one author who enthusiastically shares his favorite subject with us.

2 . . With living books children gain knowledge through their own effort. They dig out the facts and information clothed in literary language, expressing what they’ve learned by NARRATING it in their own words (composing orally or in writing). Their thinking is personal, follows a train of thought, and isn’t stunted by a page of multiple-choice.

3 . . Teachers needn’t be trained in giving lectures. Children educate themselves by narrating from the well-chosen words of authors. Too much explaining by a teacher elicits boredom. True education is SELF-EDUCATION.

4 . . No bells announce the end of hour-long class periods. Children are free to move promptly onto the next lesson. When drills and skills are kept short children develop the power of ATTENTION. Dawdling is discouraged. Students are encouraged to give their best effort. Education is a DISCIPLINE. This means establishing good and helpful habits, built one action at a time, one day at a time.

5 . . Education is an ATMOSPHERE. With living books children are motivated by a LOVE of KNOWLEDGE rather than artificial stimulants such as prizes (stickers, candy, money), competition, and grades. They retained their inborn curiosity. Cramming for tests is avoided. Examinations require the child to narrate what was read during the semester.

6 . . INSPIRING the love of knowledge in children depends of the presentation of IDEAS. Ideas are what the mind feeds on. Miss Mason served children a WIDE curriculum of subjects. She says, “Varied human reading as well as the appreciation of the humanities is not a luxury, a tid-bit, to be given to children now and then, but their very bread of life.” Education is a LIFE.

7 . . Miss Mason places an emphasis on being outdoors to observe nature. Students keep a NATURE Notebook. They record their observations adding drawings, poems and mottoes.

8 . . After-hours HOMEWORK is withheld. Children apply their minds at the time of morning lessons. Afternoons provide recreation. For children this means running, climbing, yelling, all out of doors. Handicrafts, chores, life skills, practicing an instrument, and play, are their homework.

Karen Andreola Copyright 2020
Painting by : Théodore Gérard (1829–1895)

02/08/2023

Our 17yo daughter told me she wanted to go to Africa this summer.
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She just got home and here are some of the phrases that she has said so far.
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“It’s not everyday that your boat gets chased by hippos.”
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“It’s not everyday that you almost get kicked by a giraffe because you’re standing so close.”
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“It’s not everyday that you feed a baboon out of your hand.”
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“ The kids in Africa could not comprehend why she has braces and would even want to have straight teeth.”
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“The faith of these people is so strong. They love Jesus Christ and find so much hope in his gospel.
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I loved watching the growth that happened in this girl over the last 2 weeks of building a school in Kenya.
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I was definitely reluctant at first, but we prayed and found an amazing program that does these trips all over the world.
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I highly recommend these trips for Christian/LDS teens with .kenyanairobi. You can choose from many places around the world. They include fun, spiritual, service activities that really strengthen the youth in so many ways.
-They include lodging, round trip international food and lodging as well as prices for all activities.
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Such a transformational experience. So worth it!

19/07/2023

What are your rocks?

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We’ve been traveling a lot this summer and not very consistent with our schedule.
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Needless to say our kiddos were not getting along, and I knew we needed to do something consistently, because, I believe kids crave consistency and order.
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The first thing we have made sure to do every morning, even if the rest of our day is crazy, is scripture study!
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It has made all the difference. My kids still fight, but allowing the spirit to enter our home through scripture reading each morning is just what we needed right now.
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I love that after just a few days they ask, can we read the scriptures!!!
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Here are a few things we do to make scripture study exciting 👇👇
✨Read a small amount each day, and have each kid that can read, read a few verses.
✨STORY- Tell the story in your own words and think of stories that remind you of what you are reading.
✨Ask Questions- Not yes or no questions, I tell my kids to think of a question that they can ask us while they read. Asking questions helps us think deeper, and have some great discussions even if it’s just a few verses.
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Anymore tips? 👇👇👇
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If you’re finding that you need some help, the scriptures have the answers!!!

08/07/2023

If there is any lesson I have learned as a wife, mother, friend… This is it👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼
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We can’t change others…. Better work on the one and only person we can change. - OURSELVES 😉

07/07/2023

Nothing can replace family time. We’ve been having a lot of fun visiting our family and cousins in Idaho.
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Recently, I listened to a podcast by , where she explained that the word “ Recreate”means to Re- Create.
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Taking time to have fun and re-create is a part of the creation process.
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I’ve never been a fan of workbooks or summer schooling, because I believe our brains need rest, we need the summers to have fun , and get inspired for a new year, and part of this inspiration comes from taking the time to Re-Create.
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I have come to enjoy watching my kids just have pure unstructured fun, and allowing them to just enjoy life.
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I believe that God gave us seasons for a reason, and I’m so grateful for summer.
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That this is a time to Re-Create our lives and ponder what we want to do during the upcoming year!
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So, take time to Re-Create this summer! That’s what we’ll be doing.

Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 05/07/2023

Do you have a favorite family Vacation?
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I would have to say my favorite, and I think one of our family’s favorite family vacations, was 5 years ago when we drove across the country from Nevada to New York City.
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My husband and I had a strong desire to experience the history of our church and of our country.
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We thought, we could fly, and then rent a car, then we calculated the cost, with 5kids, that seemed so big.
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Then, we came up with a crazy idea😍, we decided that if I drove by myself, for 4 days, then met my husband in Nebraska, then he could drive the rest of the way with us. We decided we could take about 6 weeks to travel across the country.
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However, because my husband couldn’t take that much time off work, my parents met us in D.C. and drove us home. (For this we decided that we needed to buy a 15 passenger van, I’ll share this story later😉)
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Jumping to the point… we made it to NYC and knew that we wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
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As we toured Ellis Island and rode the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty, we were filled with such a sense of gratitude for our freedom and country.
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In Ellis Island, we watched a really powerful movie on the immigrants who left everything for a chance to start a new life of freedom.
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The journey was oftentimes hard and sometimes once they reached Ellis Island(the first point in the USA), they were turned away. Sometimes children were separated from their parents because their parents weren’t allowed to come due to illness or disease.
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When we saw the Statue of Liberty, we understood what it means to be free.
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I love studying, reading about stories from history, but experiencing it first hand was amazing!!!
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Don’t get me wrong, this trip was so hard, but Im siglas we did it!
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I’m forever grateful for the lessons that we learned and experienced in freedoms d love of our country!!!!
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Now, 5 years later, with our oldest gone, I can definitely say family vacations are worth it, and can be such powerful learning opportunities.

05/07/2023

Happy 4th of July!!!
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We had fun being creative and tie dying our 4th of July shirts.

04/07/2023

In a small town in Idaho, they know how to celebrate our freedom.

28/06/2023

The best type of learning in our home happens when we allow our kids to be creative.
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My goal is to provide my kids with materials, and let them choose what kind of topics and ideas interest them.
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Next year, the main ages that I will be focusing on in our homeschool will be a 4 year old, 9 year old and 11 year old.
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In my studies of “The Phases of Learning “ by Oliver and Rachel Demille, and in my own observations of homeschooling my older teens, I have come to realize that open ended projects and writing is really a big part of loving to learn.
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So, we don’t use a writing curriculum during this age, but rather I help my kids come up with ideas and create projects that we share with our family once a month or so.
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Can’t wait to share some of the projects that they come up for this year.
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We are pulling our topics from rotation topics and using to do fun open-ended projects this year!!!
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Are you getting excited for a new school year? I’m excited, but enjoying a long summer break.

20/06/2023

In our home I’ve tried to be pretty intentional about technology.
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I’ve tried really hard to not say it’s good or bad, but rather a tool that can be used for good.
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Many years ago I heard a podcast on motherhood where these 3 Cs were mentioned in teaching our kids how to use screens.
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After I heard this we adopted these 3Cs as our guiding principles of how to use technology in our home.
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Instead of me saying “no” you can’t do this or that, or my kids earning or not earning screen time, I just ask them these questions 👇👇👇
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1️⃣CREATE- I believe our main purpose here on the earth is to be creative. I believe the adversary knows this and can use technology to distract us from this purpose. So, we ask ourselves these questions when considering technology in our home. Does this app, movie or show help you be a better person, more creative, does it teach a skill that helps you’ve creative.
2️⃣Communicate- I believe in connection, and mostly physical connection. I don’t want my kids to only have friends on screens, so they don’t do online chatting or gaming, but we do have friends and family that live far away, and so I love it when my kids talk for hours with their grandparents or cousins. I might even consider some games to be connecting could be an even better word than communicate.
3️⃣Contribute- I believe that technology can be a great way for us to contribute to the world and make this world a better place. Which is one reason that I felt to start this IG channel. I wanted a place to contribute even if it is in a small way. Also, I wanted to set the example for my kids of how I believe technology can be used for good in our lives.
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Have you found a good use for technology in your life? I’d love for you to do so, it makes all the difference in how our devices and homes can be filled with goodness.

19/06/2023

Do you have a family mission statement?
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For us, a family mission statement is something that we are striving for as a family. Not necessarily something that we have achieved.
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Something that I’ve learned through the years is that if we are clear on our “Why”, then then the what and how seem to fall into place.
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When we were discussing our family mission statement, it seemed that there were so many things that we wanted to incorporate.
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So, I got the idea to create an Acrostic poem and find a word for each letter in our main mission statement which is to “Light The Way”.
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One of my favorite scriptures is found in Matthew 5:14 that says “ye are the light of the world.”
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I wanted to be a light, I wanted our kids to be a light not only to others, but also to our future generations.
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I also love Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
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The reason that we let our light shine is so that others may glorify our Father which is in heaven.
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This has been a guiding principle in our decisions as a family and as individuals.
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This summer as I’m taking time to pray and seek inspiration for our upcoming year, I love to re visit our why and remember why we do what we do.
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Can’t wait to share some of the ideas and thoughts that I have in preparing our home and homeschool for this upcoming school year!
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Do you have a guiding statement or principle in your family? I’d love to know 👇👇👇

Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 22/05/2023

Have you read “ The Collapse of Parenting” by Dr. Leonard Sax?
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This book is Powerful!!!
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I’ve been taking a short break from parenting books as I find myself oftentimes overwhelmed with different methods and advice given in parenting books.
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However, many years ago I read a book by Dr. Sax called “ Boys Adrift”, and was shocked at the amount of research and personal insight that he has being a family physician and psychologist dealing with his own patients for decades.
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He noticed patterns in families, boys and girls that he needed to share with the world.
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This book is mainly his observations and advice based on his experience. I agree with some and don’t fully agree with all. (That’s the beauty of learning from a book😉)
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My main takeaway though is the fact that many of our modern day problems that kids are having from adhd, depression, etc… could be resolved by stepping up to our role as parents and making our parent child relationship our top priority, even over structured activities and friends.
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According to Dr. Sax, far too many parents believe that the solutions to their problems are in kids being medicated, spending more time with peers and having more structured activities.
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In fact, Dr. Sax has observed the opposite, if we decide that the solution is up to us as parents, in prioritizing our values beliefs and family, those things can diminish drastically without too much intervention.
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I’d love to know your thoughts on my takeaways👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼
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I highly recommend this book and just considering as parents how we can do better.

15/05/2023

Over the years I have found that the solution to most of our problems in family life,👇👇
-bad grades
-sibling rivalry
- bad behavior
- kids refusing to listen to parents
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These problems can most often be solved when we focus on our relationships, especially between parent and child.
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Many think that we need to discipline harder, have harsher punishments or takeaway privileges, when in reality, what might be the simplest solution of all doesn’t always seem like what we want to do. Focus on connecting first, then watch the magic happen.
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When we feel connected, kids want to do good, they want to listen.
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In Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s book, “Hold Onto Your Kids”, he explains that when we first focus on connection, then the teaching comes naturally. This is true at home and in most settings.
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This week I want to share how focusing on family relationships will actually be the most important factor in solving most family problems.
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What’s your favorite way to connect with your kids? 👇👇👇

Photos from The Joy of Homeschool's post 09/05/2023

History? Do you love it or not?
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I’m excited to share with you this week a little more about how we’ve come to love history in our home.
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I feel like when we say the word history, because of the way most people have been taught history, it causes people to cringe.
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However, since we began homeschooling about 10 years ago, I’ve been on a journey as a Mom (bringing my kids along of course)😉 of re-discovering a passion for history.
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The key for me has been 👆🏼this quote by Rudyard Kipling “ STORIES”.
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At the beginning of our homeschool journey, we attempted timelines and a deeper study of history, and I found that I was losing the interest of my kids.
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I love that Marlene Peterson from has put together a Mothers University so that we can dig deeper to getting inspired as Moms. She has a whole month on History and why it’s so important ( we’ll talk more about that this week).
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Anyways, I believe that we shouldn’t just require our kids to learn things without first sparking a desire in their hearts… that’s where the word INSPIRE comes in😍
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The key to inspiring other, especially your kids, is to get inspired yourself , as a Mom!
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Here are my top stories that we’ve read with our kids through the years. In our homeschool, I can’t say that we’ve done everything right, but I believe that reading together is the 1 thing that we’ve done right😀, it’ll be my favorite part of homeschooling for years to come.
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📚The Childhood of Famous Americans- these are biographies written about Americans😀. They are written in such a way that you get to re-live the childhood of these famous Americans. Kids love them much, and so do I 😊.
📚Classic Books and Biographies- I have a picture of “ The Hiding place” by Corrie Ten Boom, because we are finishing up a study of WW2 with my teen and I love to find biographies and classics from a specific time period that really connects us to this time period.
📚Landmark Books- These stories are for a little older kids and teens and are told in such a heart warming way drawing everyone into great lives and time periods. ( I’ll share more about these later).
👇👇👇more continued in the comments.

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