The Bond That Teaches Our Children - Love and Jesus

Today I've been married to the most wonderful man on this earth, my husband, for 13 years.  We were just 20 years old when we said "I do" and we still feel that same giddy, loving feeling that we did those many years ago.  We don't hide our love, our affection and even our disagreements from our daughter because she needs to see what marriage is really like.  Most importantly, she needs to see that even when you have disagreements, you work them out - quickly - and this is made possible because of God!

I wasn't sure if my daughter had understood marriage or learned much at 9 years old, but was surprised when she presented us with a card she had picked out and she also added in her own writings at the end.  It touched my heart that she picked out such a card AND that she wrote such amazing words.

The card:

For Mom and Dad On Your Anniversary

Because of the two of you, I know what love is.
It's patience.  It's sacrifice.
It's sharing joy and keeping faith.
It's what keeps us strong and helps us find our way...

Because of the two of you, I know what family is.
It's laughing.  It's listening.
It's growing up and growing together.
It's being there for each other, no matter what...

Because of the two of you, I know that love and family
are at the heart of a good life and a lasting marriage.
Because of the two of you, I'll always be thankful
for the love we have and the family we are.

Katie's own writings added at the end of this card:

Because of the two of you, you have tought me how to love and follow Jesus.  Thank you!

Talk about worth it all!!!!

The day when your 9 year old daughter gives you an anniversary card with meaning - wonderful.

The day when your 9 year old daughter writes, that because of your marriage, you have taught her how to love and follow Jesus - priceless!!!!!!

Why I Homeschool

I'm not sure that I've actually ever answered this question with a list of the main reasons we homeschool, so I thought I would go ahead and do a post on why I homeschool.  Besides the most obvious reasons of we prefer a God-centered education and will not put our child under false teaching, there are numerous other reasons we have chosen this route.  Even if I didn't care about God or what my child was being taught, I more than likely still would homeschool - so for all those that think I just do it for religious reasons - you are wrong!  So here they are........

  1. Less Stress - my mornings are mine, they are not rushed, they are quiet and peaceful.  There is no rushing around to get a child fed, ready and off to the bus for school.  It is a slow, stressless morning with joy.  The evenings are ours - no rush to get home and get in bed, bedtimes are only for good sleep hygeine and for my daughter (and me!) to get the sleep she needs.  I have to say that I'm SO glad that I don't have to wake up before the sun has even thought of coming up to get my children ready for school!  It is one of the perks of homeschooling.  I also love how I don't have to go pick my children up and wait in a long line or wait for the bus.  If we go out for errands, I don't have to hurry before the kids get out of school to be home at a certain time.  All in all, it is less stressful for a mom and the children!
  2. Make it in the "real world" - despite the misnomer that keeping a child away from a school-building means they are not in the "real world", the truth of the matter is that the real world is the one outside the walls of the school building.  My daughter's life will be at home, running errands, interacting with people in the neighborhood of all ages and what better way to learn the "real world" than live in it!  She interacts with children in different groups of all ages, can hold a conversation with an adult, and is there when "real life" happens.
  3. Build a Strong Child -  You must first build a house from the foundation up with the right materials so it can weather the storm!  If you build the house with bruised and broken materials, it will fall or crack in the day of adversity.  I'm not of the flawed philosophy that you need to ridicule, beat and tear down children to make them "strong" or able to "handle" it.  If that was the case, then after molestation, rape, and the verbal and physical abuse I've experienced in my life - I should be the strongest person by now.  Bullying does not make one strong, it tears one down.  You can't tell me that a child who hasn't even grown up is able to handle the abuse that happens at today's schools that grown adults let continue.  Rather, we should see more good behavior, manners, ethics and courtesy being taught and what better way to do that than at home?  Instead, we see suicides and broken children all around us.  I want to build a strong child, so that when her time comes to face the harshness of others, she will be able to stand.  Frederick Douglas said it so well: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
  4. Quality Education - From all the complaints I hear from friends whose children attend public schools, and from what I witness and hear in the reports of educational standards - I know that to get a quality education in today's society, you either send your child to a private school or you homeschool.  Homeschooling allows 1-on-1 education and moves at the child's pace.  It is tailored to the child, thus it creates a child who "gets" it and doesn't get left behind on anything.  Our daughter did math and english standardized tests and scored about 2 grade levels ahead.  Even though, I'm not one for having a test as "proof" that something works - she is doing just right with momma's teaching, sadly better than the typical student who is taught by degree-carrying women.  I also love how we can do hands-on projects in history and science.  Being able to grow a garden together for botany and take nature walks and bring home specimens to view under the microscope have developed a life-long learner in my daughter.
  5. Community Involvement and Service a.k.a SOCIALIZATION - Thinking of all the different people we meet in our neighborhood, around town, at homeschool groups and field trips - we are very involved in our community.  Not only does my daughter get to be around children of all types but I get to reach out to other mothers in the community and other cities around us in these homeschool groups.  This is socialization at its best, in a controlled environment as children learn to be around various age levels and individuals.  The greatest thing at these events is - there is no bullying among homeschooled kids!  Almost all the children are respectful, treat each other kindly and show great teamwork in games and sports.  One of the most common things we hear on field trips from people at the many places we tour or go to explore is "You all must be homeschoolers because you are so well behaved and actually listen!"  Train up a child in the way they should go.
  6. Time Together - I love being with my daughter (and now my son) so much!  My children are a joy to be around because I raised them to be a joy to be around.  People ask me what I did to help my daughter be respectful and obedient - I lean in like I'm getting ready to spill the biggest secret in the world and say "It's called parenting!"  I always seem to get a laugh but really, there is no magic potion - you just need to BE THERE for your kids!  I'm there when my daughter has those "questions" about growing up or about God.  We talk a LOT - we are female after all lol.  I'm so glad that she isn't at school with a teacher I barely know asking those questions.  Who knows what they would teach her!?  My daughter and I bond a lot and we have cuddle time sometimes in the middle of the school day.  Sometimes we just quit school to spend time together or go to the park or get ice cream.  I love the time we have together, it is so short, I don't want to miss the best hours of her day!
  7. Creativity and Interest-Led Learning - I think that traditional schooling squashes a child's imagination and thus, their creativity.  We need to strive to keep this alive because it is what can make life have that zest!  I also believe that children are not allowed to expand upon their interests outside of the basics.  This is most important later on in the high school years.  With homeschooling, we can allow our children to finish their basic schoolwork and then have the rest of the day to work on their interest - whether it be building a rocket, constructing a fort or sewing clothes - homeschooling allows them to establish these skills by having the TIME to do so.  My daughter loves to sew after school is over and takes her sewing box outside to sew and watch the birds.  I told her if she wants to make her clothes, she can be able to and do it well here in a few years of practice and that got the ball rolling.  If she wanted to start a clothing business during high school in our home, she could!  The possibilities are endless.  For my son, who we will train to have a trade and/or career, he can use that time to expand on his interests or work part-time.

That is all I can think of right now before dozing off to sleep, but I will add more if I remember any! :-)

What Our Table Means to Us

Some people may wonder - what is so special about a table?  However, to us and specifically to me - it means a whole lot.  Growing up in my family we would eat together at the table and have that closeness as a family but when my parents bought a television, it became the table's demise.  I was 9 years old when that television set came into our house and stole my family's bond, peacefulness and faithfulness.  However, something that sticks out in my mind all these years was how it made the table obsolete.  Instead of gathering around the table, praying and eating together, it was rather get your dinner and go to your new family - the television set.

I remember fondly those times at holidays when we sat at the table together and how weird it felt because it wasn't normal, but then also, how wonderful.  I remember some nights when my dad was sitting at the table drinking coffee and I would come and sit down and we would talk about God.  I remember staring down at the grooves in the table as he spoke and thinking upon them brings tears to my eyes.  Tears because thinking of the grooves in that table brings back those close times - at that table talking with my dad.  I remember when my parents got rid of that table a few years ago and how sad I was to hear it.  They didn't understand my attachment to it and what it meant to me.  I missed those times at the table.  I missed the togetherness of our family that was so hastily replaced by Hollywood.  I vowed to not let my family have the same fate.  Enter in.....our family table:

We fellowship together as a family at this table. There is togetherness here. There is love here. There are deep talks and funny stories shared here. This is where I teach my daughter God's Word and eventually my son.  This is where I school my children in the things they must know.  This is where we show hospitality to our friends.  This is what I want my table to mean to my children - for them to remember the good times that we spent together!  This is what our table means to us.

1,375th Reason to Homeschool - Ungodly Socialization

My 1,375th reason to homeschool:

A middle school in New York has been managing complaints from angry parents after their daughters complained that they were forced to ask each other for kisses and pretend to be lovers during an anti-bullying presentation on homosexuality and gender identity.

It's ok everyone, this is just training on bullying, so it is perfectly alright!  Don't get in a huff because parents weren't 'notified' - we don't need your permission to teach the government's children the mandatory anti-bullying curriculum, you dropped them off to be babysat everyday, so you must trust us, right?  The public schools are going to teach your daughters what it is like to be sexually attracted to a girl, to kiss them and go on dates with them, so maybe they can see if they are really a lesbian and how it FEELS to be a lesbian.  Remember, you are leaving your children in the care of these schools and they have your children in good care.  No worries, just go on about your day and remember........this is good 'ole SOCIALIZATION going on down here at the public schools.  Lots of socializing - the public school way!  You know your children can't have socialization anywhere else but public school, this the only place your child can get socialized.  This is how we socialize at schools that leave out God:

"They also picked two girls to stand in front of the class and pretend they were lesbians on a date."

They didn't leave the boys out, oh no, this is public school education at its finest:

The workshop which divided the students by sex, also made a presentation to boys at the middle school who were advised to carry a condom in their pocket at all times and given tips on how to identify a "slut."

Again, don't worry parents - after all, the school superintendent knows best and wants to remind you that this training is REQUIRED by state law, so stop your belly-aching, these kids belong to them to teach as you so freely handed them over:

School Superintendent Paul Finch reportedly told The Poughkeepsie Journal that the presentations were "focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions."
"[We] may require more notification to parents" in the future, he said. He maintained, however, that the sessions are required under the state Dignity for All Students Act. It prohibits harassment and bullying in the classroom.

Now get back to your Facebooks and shopping ladies, the schools have your child's best interest at heart.  Remember, those poor homeschoolers will never get this type of socializing!

Read the full story here: