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What You Say You Need

  |   Curriculum, Encouragement, Personal Growth, Teaching Elementary School, Teaching High School, Teaching Middle School   |   No comment

I should have done this a long time ago!

from-the-bottom-of-my-heart thank you to those who took the time to take my survey!  After about a hundred responses, it is time to let you know a little about what you said you needed and wanted to read about on this blog.

But before I tell you that, it is obvious from many of your comments that a  number of you are in desperate need of a bit of  motivation and encouragement.

Let me give you some.

You are doing a very. hard. but. valuable. thing. in home schooling your children.

Home schooling is NOT easy, or painless, or without major self-sacrifice.

Please stop comparing yourself with other people who make it look easy.

You know who I’m talking about.

  • The denim-jumpered ladies who grind their own wheat to make whole grain bread and make all their kids’ clothes.
  • The ones you run into at Wal-Mart, wearing make-up, who have nine nicely dressed, perfectly quiet children walking in a line when yours don’t have clean underwear on because you haven’t been able to do laundry* and you have bribed them to behave with the promise of a treat later backed up by several nasty looks.
  • The ones who not only have a neat colored-coded schedule for every day but who actually follow it for more than a day and a half.

*true story

And realize that the advice and coaching you get from this blog comes from what we have learned from doing things wrong as well as from doing things right.

I can tell you, though, that homeschooling has been a wonderful thing for my own spiritual growth as well as that of our children.  There is nothing like seeing yourself in your kids’ less than perfect behavior to give you a picture of what our Heavenly Father so often sees in us!  Ouch!

It has been an even more wonderful thing enjoying the fruit of God’s grace and our home schooling labors in seeing children who love the Lord and are working hard to walk in His footsteps.  Home schooling  is oh, so worth it.

I am also thankful for those of you who took the time to answer the last survey question about what you are struggling with the most. Some of you really poured your heart out, and I appreciated your candidness and your trust in me. I plan to address many of those issues in the weeks and months to follow.

Survey Results

Before I give you a peek at the results, let’s look at the basics of who replied (and I’m rounding):

  • 12% of you have home schooled under a year
  • 24% from one to three years
  • 22%  from three to five years
  • 42%  for over six years

I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged that so many of you have home schooled for that long, and I hope this blog will support your efforts and give you some practical tools to keep going!

First Things First

1.  Now the interesting and inspiring part of the survey. The single, most important thing to over half of you (51%) was to read about Christian parenting – how to disciple and mentor your children.  That is SUCH an encouragement to me, as this is what we are called to do, even before academics!  And if you have read this blog for a while you know that this is a topic close to my heart!  If you are new around here, you might be encouraged to read a few of these older posts that relate to Christian parenting:

  • Six Tips to Start Second Semester begins with a personal inventory – the most important place to start before we ‘start on’ our kids! 😉
  • Want to be Wise? is another post written from the perspective of getting yourself in the correct frame of mind first, beginning with prayer and listing specific scripture on my prayer list as I approached the second semester of this school year.
  • Using Habits in Personal Training is listed under our Charlotte Mason posts, but it describes how children need to be taught, from the beginning (!), that they are not ‘their own,’ but live under a greater Authority – what a contrast from our current child-centered culture!
  • Teaching Character through Poetry Part I and Part II have great ideas for  incorporating character training into poetry studies.
  • Cultural Creeping warns that  we need to be constantly aware of how we and our children are bombarded by our increasingly non-Christian culture and how to combat it.

The Rest of the Very Important Stuff

2.  How to Teach Different Subjects (44%)

3.  Teaching High Schoolers (39%)

4.  Ideas for Lesson Plans (39%)

5. Charlotte Mason Methods (38%)

6. Teaching Middle Schoolers (33%)

What You Considered Important

1. Home Schooling Support and Encouragement (47%)

2. Description of Train up a Child Publishing’s Curricula (46%)

3. Planning and organization (45%)

4. Hands on Learning (44%)

5. Ideas for Lesson Plans (39%)

Lesson Plan Ideas

Because so many of you considered lesson plan ideas important, before this post gets any longer I want to list some of our pertinent posts in one place for those of you who are newer readers:

  • Writing a Book Review – Writing a book review for the purpose of encouraging someone else to read a well-loved book is a lot more interesting to write than the traditional report.
  • Make a Middle Ages Dictionary! will give you detailed instructions and resources to make a book, taken from our middle school lesson plans, that can be adapted for younger or older students studying this or another time period/subject.
  • Make a Lapbook! Identifies the benefits of using graphic organizers and includes photos and MANY ideas and resources for making mini-books and lapbooks.
  • Picture Study – Ever wondered how to incorporate the study of great art into your homeschooling? Read about this painless way to do so!
  • Picture Study for Older Students -A continuation of the post above, this article contains additional ideas appropriate for your older children.
  • The Question Box – This creative, hands on idea can be used to review or to incite interest in studying all kinds of topics.  The lesson example given in on the Middle Ages and can be used with students of all ages.

OK, this is WAY longer than I intended!  But I do want to assure you that I will respond to your preferences  as I plan and write this blog.  And for those of you who asked me to answer particular questions, I will address those very soon.

Many Blessings, Sisters!




P.S.  THANK YOU for some of your very encouraging comments!


No Comments
  • Epi Kardia » Blog Archive » We Are Listening! | Mar 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    […] is honored and humbled by your support!  This has always been part business and part ministry, so as I said in my last post with our survey results, I want to make sure and respond to some of your direct questions and comments on the survey many […]

  • Dana | Mar 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Thank you, Christy! Glad to be an encouragement to you!

  • Christy | Mar 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

    So true about the comparing, it is difficult not to but it does only lead to discouragement most of the time. I have read a few of the posts mentioned and I am glad to say you are right on target and quick to the point. I appreciate the effort you put into this and the simple suggestions to help keep me on track when I start to stray from what’s important.
    Thank you!

  • Dana | Mar 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Jimmie- thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I agree about comparing oneself to others leading to pride or hopelessness — both self-centered at their roots, rather than God-centered. I hope you enjoyed the other posts and found info that you could use. Thanks again for reading, Jimmie!

    Jennifer –THANK YOU for your kind words and for your recommendations, as well as for referring many home school moms to us as you have moved around the country! I’m thrilled that our curriculum has worked so well with your growing family over the years! You are truly a blessing to us!

  • Jennifer | Mar 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hi Dana and Beth!
    Greetings from Alaska! I’m still sharing the best curriculum ever with all the homeschool moms I meet. I just took a look at your website for the first time in a year and liked what I saw. Your blog is great, too. I wanted to tell you we are hosting a Poetry Day the end of March and I enjoyed reading Beth’s posting about poetry from last year. G. is reciting “IF” and J. really enjoyed reading, “If For Girls.” Didn’t know that one! I also wanted to let you know I did stray from y’all this past year and went with *** just to work on geography with the younger 4. What a mistake!! We’ve all been so disappointed in the books that came with the program and the disjointed, non time-line focused approach to learning. I am looking forward to starting with the Ancients in the fall! So stand by for some new orders from Alaska! It has been fun to look over your website and blogs lately. I’m not one to spend a lot of time doing that but I’ve found your information wonderful! I’ve noticed you have changed some things in the manuals and I’m interested… Thank you for creating such a fantastic, REAL, usable, family-centered, multi-aged, awesome curriculum! How’s that?? All true, spoken from experience and from the heart!

    God bless you both,
    Love Jennifer

  • Jimmie | Mar 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Great point about comparing ourselves to others. It’s a big no no because it generally leads to either pride or hopelessness.

    There are some good links here, some I remember and some I may have missed (or forgotten). Off to click and read…

    (Polling is truly a wonderful way to find the pulse of your readership. And if you’re a nerd like me, you simply find the data fascinating.)

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