Is It Time To Switch Gears?
Embracing Schedule Changes in Your Homeschool
By: Hicunni Chandler
“Switch it, change it, rearrange it”. I can’t remember where that chant came from. I am thinking it was from one of my cheerleading camps back in 19 blah blah. After all of those years, that chant came to mind at 6:22 a.m., last Friday morning, when I was preparing to rearrange our homeschool schedule.
Clearly, I can’t be the only mom that has had to switch things around a bit after 45 days in school “Technically 36 because of the birthdays, vacations, and sick days. Of course, I could count some of the vacay days as field trips. Maybe count some of the sick days as Health Education. Rule number 455, do not eat_____ because it may make you sick or probably because your body will resist it.
Ok, so I didn’t count those extra days! It was close to 5:30 p.m. when I completed our schedule, after the confusion and interruptions.
I feel so accomplished, so liberated, so hoping that I won’t have to change this schedule until the next 45 days. Ha!
As of today, at this moment, you have my permission to switch gears! Yes! Can’t you hear the bells of freedom going off! I mean lets be realist, everything doesn’t always go according to plan, right? I know you are wondering what led to this change.
In the past we’ve had to change a schedule or two around because the curriculum or books that we purchased were not working for my children. You would think that after accumulating 2 suitcases of materials we would have this homeschooling thing all figured out. Homeschooling is life. Our children change, circumstances change, change changes, which all affect the approach we use to instruct our children.
The appropriate response is to be that progression monitor to identify what is working and what is not. If you have to create a new schedule, please don’t feel defeated or discouraged. I know you have spent x amount of dollars on that curriculum that “Ms. Working” purchased for her child, and it worked for them, but maybe you can resell it. The money that you lost, isn’t really a lost after all. Why? Look at it as a life experience; you can’t really put a price tag on that, can you?
This is our 4th year homeschooling, but this year is a little more structured. We have been working with an organization that created an Individual Cognitive Plan for our son, in which we combined the curriculum we already had with other materials. With the curriculum and in home therapy activities, instructing my daughter, and extracurricular activities, we have a full schedule.
I am happy to say, that as of this moment, the curriculum and other materials are working, however, the schedule that we follow seems too rushed. There was a time when I was ready to be done for the day. I am learning that school is more than just a check list. I want to make sure our kids are getting the most out of each lesson. So, what did I do?
I love making schedules and list. Do I always stay on task? No. However, since I read, well, I read some and skimmed the most important parts to apply, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode; I have been a better planner. Also, I do plan on finishing that book; I guess I am applying what I’ve learned as I read!
So, it took all day, with a few interruptions to switch and rearrange our schedule. We don’t want to be slaved to it, but to use it as a guide and allow more interruptions, if things come up. Most importantly, we have the “time” to spend on a particular lesson as we need to.
Ok, so you want to hear something funny? Well, on Saturday, the next day, when I looked at the time, it was 6:22 a.m.! Wow, the same time as the day before! I started thinking, Lord, maybe this is a sign. Ok, then I thought maybe it’s a scripture (Surely, none of you have ever had one of those “spiritual” moments, I’m being facetious). So I looked up Psalm 6:22…it doesn’t exist. I then went to the book of Proverbs, as it reads:
If you read the verse before, it talks about binding the commandments of your father and teachings of your mother continually on your heart.
This may have been something random, but it created an “Aha” moment. What came to mind is our primary concern is to teach our children and instruct them in the ways of our Lord. We want them to have a foundation that they can carry out for the rest of their lives. Be free homeschooling moms!
Be free to switch gears and make the most out of the years that we have with our precious little learners.
Hicunni (Hi-Key-Knee) Chandler
Not sure if you are familiar with this name.
This dear woman of God has been my mentor and I her protege for years. But from a distance. She doesn’t even know it I’m sure. :)
Mrs. Campbell is the founder and owner of Above Rubies Ministries. http://www.aboverubies.com
I’ve devoured many of her books. Viewed many of her various video recordings with my daughters. Absorbed lots of audio recordings by her.
She’s an amazing, god-fear, full of God’s Word – woman!
Her ministry is to women. Encouraging them in the areas of marriage, being fruitful in childbearing, rearing and raising children, hospitality and more.
This past year I have purposely *slowly* been working through two of her workbooks.
The Power of Motherhood. And The Family Meal Table and Hospitality.
This week I would like to encourage you hard working homeschooling moms with an excerpt from Nancy Campbell’s book The Power of Motherhood.
Be encouraged and know that the job that we do day in and day out is of great importance. And though it’s a hard job on some days or even years we must continue forward doing all that we do with out growing faint of heart. Serving all the while as we so. :)
Blessings to you each along the journey.
Mothers are Servers
1. Embrace motherhood with all your heart. Unless you embrace it fully, you will never enjoy it. While you have conflicting values, you will be miserable.
2. Realize that motherhood is a serving role. Give up your own rights. When you hold on to your rights, you will be totally miserable. When you believe that you must have a full night’s sleep every night, you will be miserable all day because you did not have one. When you expect people to do this and that for you, you will be disappointed. Change your self-serving, self-seeking, self-fulfilling, self-centered, self-pitying, self-pleasing, self-gratifying and self-reliant attitude to one of serving, and you will be amazed how joyful you will be. As a child I was taught that JOY meant……
J Jesus first
O Others second
Y Yourself last!
It works. Try it!
3. Confess that you are a joyful mother. Philemon v.6 says, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” What is this Scripture saying? Every good thing that is in Jesus Christ is in you. If you have received Christ Jesus into your life, His joy, love, longsuffering, patience, peace and gentleness are in you too. This is what the Scripture says. It cannot lie. Most of the time we do not feel that we have these things within us, do we? Many times we do not feel joyful. We do not feel loving. And we certainly do not feel patient! But truth is not dependent upon feelings! It is dependent upon facts!
This Scripture says that if you acknowledge that these graces are in you and confess that they are in you, they will become effective in your life! When you get up in the morning, even if you have had a broken night’s sleep with your little baby, confess, “Thank you, Lord, for your joy which fills my heart. I am full of joy because you live within me. I am a joyful mother and today our home will be filled with joy.” Walk out to the kitchen to start the day and continue to confess that you are a joyful mother. Sing songs of joy to the Lord.
You can apply this Scripture to every need that you have. When you feel irritable and angry with the children, confess His peace and His patience. Confess, “Thank you, Lord, for your patience. Because you dwell within me, I am full of patience. I am the most patient mother in my city.” You are not telling lies, because the patience of Jesus dwells in you. It will become effective as you acknowledge it and confess it. Paul confessed in 1 Timothy 1:16, “that in me Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering.”
As you confess the joy of the Lord, it will well up in your heart and will be your strength.
“The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Self-pity drains all your energy!
The joy of the Lord fills you with strength!
4. Determine to start each morning by creating a good atmosphere for your family. You, as the mother, set the atmosphere in your home. As the day continues, and the children get irritable and begin to fight with one another, instead of yelling at them, stop what you are doing. Gather them together and tell them a story, sing some songs together or read to them. It will calm the atmosphere and bring rest again to your home. I have always loved these words from The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillian.
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a mother who read to me.
5.Make happy memories for your family. Do something special as a family at least once a week. Continually think of happy exciting ideas that you can do together as a family. They do not have to cost money. The simplest things are often the most enjoyable. It is the ‘togetherness’ the children will remember.
6. Create lots of laughter and fun in your home. Let your walls ring with laughter. Laughter is a tonic. Proverbs 7:22 says, “A merry heart does good like a medicine.”
7. Stop hurrying. Slow down. I found that when I rushed around, trying to get everything perfect or trying to fulfill my own agendas, that the children became irritable and difficult to handle – and I became uptight. Relax and everyone will be much happier. Proverbs 19:2b says, “He that hasteth with his feet sinneth.”
8. Trust God. When you try to do everything in your own strength, you will lose your joy. Trust in God’s strength. You do not have to get everything done every day. Just do what is most important and realize there will be other days. Your windows will still be dirty again next year, so why worry if you did not get them cleaned today? When your children are little, you may not accomplish much more than just looking after them, but you are doing the most important talk you could ever do. There will be years added to all the projects that are on your list.
As a younger mother, I related to these thoughts of a fellow mother.
“These are the never years. Never enough money, never enough time, never enough sleep – but always enough love. The sweetest kiss of a baby; the tooth-paste-flavored kiss of child on his way to school, (sadly, homeschooling had not started in New Zealand over forty years ago- I now wished that I had pioneered it!) the sleepy kiss of a husband who’s just as tired as you.
These are the busy years, the wonderful, hectic, impossible years. Soon the children will be grown and I’ll have plenty of time to organize my house, to sew and to cultivate outside interests. I wonder if it will be as wonderful as I sometimes dream it will? Or am in the middle of the wonderful years…. right now?”
My favorite Scripture is found in Isaiah 26:3,4. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusts in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
Keep your heart fixed on the Lord rather than your circumstances and you will keep your joy.
HAVE A GOOD LAUGH!
By Doris Faulhaber
Giggle! That is right, giggle!
When times aren’t going right –
Does not hurt to see the silly side,
In fact it makes life bright!
Chuckle! Go on- chuckle!
You’re surely going to find
That many hard-luck stories
Can inspire the ‘funny’ kind…
Laugh out loud! yes, shake with laughter –
You will see that when you do
A lot of pleasant people
Will be there to laugh with you!
For anyone can’sin the blues’
Each person has his own,
But those who laugh their way through life
Will never be alone!
Nancy Campbell, The Power of Motherhood excerpt
Feeling doubtful about homeschooling?
Feeling unsure about *this call*?
Feeling confused about the journey?
Feeling as if you’d like to be doing something else?
Feeling like you *just can’t?*
Well…..Yes you can!!!
Keep doing the seemingly impossible.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Our guest blogger today was a student of mines some years ago and exceptional one she was. Today as our guest blogger she has words of encouragement for both the student and the parent. I so appreciate her sharing her heart in a transparent manner. Additionally, I am so very proud to *see* and *read* Hannah’s maturity both spiritually and as an adult.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
It is easy to wish away your homeschool years. You are ready for it to be over; you don’t feel like doing school! I know. I have been there. Even on days when schoolwork is the last thing you want to do, I encourage you to decide to be happy about it. I see so many homeschoolers dragging their feet about their schoolwork. Getting children to complete their work is like pulling eyeteeth for many parents.
I am now twenty years old. This is my third year without the “burden” of schoolwork, and believe it or not, I miss it sometimes. Don’t misunderstand me; it feels great to have finished high school, but I wish I had appreciated the homeschooling season of my life more than I did. I’m not sure where the time went!
Parents who choose to homeschool their children give up much of their time, resources, and energy to teach us at home. I should include tears on that list (we all know this is true)! Show yours how much you appreciate what they have done, are doing, and will continue to do for you. In reflection, I have seen how much children’s attitudes affect their parents, especially their mothers, who typically invest the most time in their schooling. This realization caused me to evaluate my attitude and I realized that completing schoolwork was not an option, and by having a good attitude I could make my life and my families lives much more enjoyable by not only accepting, but embracing my role of a student. When we have a positive mindset about things our parents ask of us, it makes their job so much easier. This is the least we should do for the amount of sacrifices they have made for us. We are one of the greatest responsibilities God has given them, and when we honor our parents, we honor God.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
In conclusion, I would encourage you not to rush your life. We are all where we are for a reason. Make the most of your time at home. We have been blessed with parents who care enough about our futures and souls, that they are willing to give of themselves for our benefit. I realize that this is a place you have to come to in your own mind and heart, and it’s not easy, but time is fleeting, and we never get these days back.
Homeschool Graduate 2012
A new part of my children’s school work is to incorporate technology into their homeschooling. They have taken upon themselves to began a series of videos on behalf of UCHU to reach the homeschooling community AND those desiring to homeschool. :)
One of our family’s favorite things to do is to celebrate special days. Of course, we celebrate birthdays, but I’m also talking about celebrating special events that happen, or in today’s case, special days in the church year. We belong to an Anglican church, a church that uses what is called a liturgical calendar – basically, a calendar that defines certain seasons like Advent (a time of preparation before Christmas), Lent (a time of preparation before Easter), etc., and also sets aside certain days to remember events and to remember those who have gone before us in faith (saints).
Today’s celebration (September 29th) is known as Michaelmas or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. I should have posted about this celebration earlier, but don’t worry, you actually have a chance to extend this celebration on Thursday (more on that later). Also, a disclaimer – I am not a theologian, just a simple mom trying to mark the days with remembrances of the goodness of the Lord. So, on to the good stuff . . .
There are many Bible passages to pick from to read about angels (I once read there are more than 300 passages about angels!). Billy Graham’s book Angels is an excellent study of angels, but here are a few points that we go over with our children on St. Michael’s Day.
- Angels are messengers. The very word “angel” means “messenger,” and we read of angels (especially Gabriel) as messengers to Daniel, Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, etc.
- Angels are helpers of the children of God. They helped Jesus after the temptation in the wilderness and in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 4:11, Luke 22:43). They are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14), and guardians and keepers (Matthew 18:10, Psalm 34:7, and Psalm 91:11).
- Angels are around the throne of God in heaven (Revelation). The cherubims guarded the Tabernacle in the wilderness and guard the Tree of Life in Eden (Genesis 3:24). Angels were at the tomb (Matthew 28:2-7, John 20:11-12), they rejoice when a sinner repents, and they will come with Jesus at the Second Coming (Matthew 16:27, 25:31).
St. Michael is mentioned in Daniel 10:13 and following, Daniel 12, Jude 9, and Revelation 12:7. He is the patron saint (special helper) of police officers, soldiers, and EMTs/paramedics. He is also the patron saint of paratroopers; mountaineers; and all who work in high places, mariners and sailors; grocers; artists; bakers; endangered children; and the sick.
Since St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers, when my children were smaller, we made up this poem to pray for police officers:
“Thank you, God, for cops.
At protecting us, they are tops!
Keep them safe both day and night
As they keep us safe with all their might.”
We also figured that St. Michael would probably be the patron saint of Regional One (the air ambulance of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System). So, we made up this prayer that we pray whenever we see the Regional One helicopter flying overhead or whenever we see or hear an ambulance or police car:
fly with thee.”
A beautiful prayer with more elevated language is the collect for St. Michael’s Day as found in the Book of Common Prayer, the prayer book of the Anglican Church, the 1928 edition, page 251:
“O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succor and defend us on earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
And a final beautiful prayer is this one,
“Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, this habitation:
Drive far from it all snares of the enemy;
let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace,
and let thy blessing be ever upon us.”
One of our family’s favorite hymns is “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” particularly to the tune of Picardy, and for a contemporary version, the artist Leah does a nice job (available on Google Play). Two other good hymns for this day are “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” and “Angels and ministers, spirits of grace” to the familiar tune of Slane (you’ll know it if you know “Be thou my vision). We learned this year that “Slane is the hill near Tara in County Meath where St. Patrick lit his Easter Even fire challenging King Loegaire” (The Hymnal 1940 Companion) – more on that at St. Patrick’s Day, I hope.
Hearkening back to my college days, “Ashton” and “The Throne” from Michael W. Smith’s I2(EYE) recording are especially fun for children to dance (or sword fight) to.
Thomas Blackshear II did a beautiful contemporary painting called Watchers in the Night for the Masterpeace Collection (a division of Dayspring) that shows a strong angel watching over a sleeping child. Ron DiCianni’s Spiritual Warfare shows an angel protecting a father praying for his sleeping child. I’m sure there are many beautiful classical art renditions of angels as well (a project for next Michaelmas?)
Some fun activities to do for St. Michael’s Day or the Feast of the Guardian Angels are:
- If you have a police officer, solider, or EMT as a family member or friend, thank them for what they do to protect us. Let them know you are praying for them.
- There are some nice coloring pages of St. Michael on the Internet if you Google “St. Michael coloring pages” or similar search terms.
- Tons of angel crafts are online as well.
- Eat! Angel hair pasta. Even those these don’t go together, angel eggs — convert “deviled eggs” into angel eggs. When my daughter was young, she thought it was a terrible injustice to call deviled eggs as such, and so she christened them “angel eggs.” So that’s what we call them. And for dessert — make (or buy) angel food cake or buy little plastic sword toothpicks (they have them in the party aisle at Publix) and stick them into devil’s food cupcakes or devil’s food doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (but just “stab” once so they are still edible!)
So, I hope this post inspires you to celebrate a belated St. Michael’s day, or – as I mentioned before, you have a chance to extend this celebration, since this Thursday (October 2nd) is the Feast of Guardian Angels J.
I will say that it has been a long time since I’ve woken up in the middle of the night (4:38 a.m.) to find myself wide awake, just laying there not able to go back to sleep.
My dear friend *sleep* – had totally left and abandoned me. :(
When such an *unwelcoming* event occurs I usually would lay still, still my mind and still the *voices* that come to plague and molest me about my shortcomings of the prior day.
This was a normal, daily, early morning occurrence at one point of my life not too long ago.
I’ve trained myself to think of others, my children, the many roles that I’m in, those I’ve spoken with the day before and I BEGAN TO PRAY.
So I prayed lying there that early morning!
I prayed! And Prayed.
Surrendering myself to the Lord anew. Confessing my shortcomings. Asking for His grace. Thanking Him for His love.
In praying, I’ve learned….. well I’ve learned that it will calm the *voices* that point out things I didn’t do well for the day; things I said to others that may or could have been taken wrongly; things that I may have done that didn’t please the Father; pointing out the times I raised my voice at my children; pointing out that my focus for the day was on other things besides on the things of God. Just pointing out how *bad* I was for the day. And how bad I am as a person!
Remember that Scripture tells us that those ‘voices’….often those implanted by the enemy, is from the accuser of the brethren.
Revelations 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
All the while he’s bringing condemnation upon me. As my accuser.
Basically all of those *things*, those *reminders* ultimately came to bring condemnation upon me and to make me feel horrible as a person.
As a wife.
As a mom.
As a home educator.
As a keeper of my home. :(
As I said, I know that those *voices* usually are those of the enemy of my soul.
I know his job description pretty well and I *usually* can identify when he is at work in the early hours of the morning
……………….and I remember what I must do.
Stop listening to the *voice* of the condemner and stay still to hear the voice of the Encourager.
As an aside, I spoke with two moms just the day before this early morning awakening.
One of these precious and dear ladies the Lord had laid on my heart while I was cleaning the bathroom earlier that day and I began to pray for her. And also while cleaning the bathroom I felt to pray for moms in general who were dealing with depression because of homeschooling.
Well, they were dealing with depression not because they were homeschooling but because of the *voices* that was leading them to believe they were doing such a horrible job at homeschooling and therefore should stop schooling at home.
Later after I finished house cleaning I quickly face book messaged the one mom that was on my heart. Then around 3:30 p.m. I got the chance to speak to another mom who was feeling a bit defeated at homeschooling.
Both moms were listening to *voices* of condemnation.
Both moms were feeling to *throw in the towel.*
Both moms indicated they wanted to stand firm and do what they really felt God had called them to do. Which was to continue to homeschool their children. But that they needed to stand firm and speak the TRUTH (from God’s Word) that they knew! And then walk by faith in that truth.
The truth of the matter is that the *voices* can be so overwhelming that you just can’t see any other way than to find a way out.
Marriage and raising children is much like homeschooling……IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINT IN HEART!
Some days it’s easy.
While other days it’s down right hard. :(
And if the hard days aren’t enough, you then have the *voice* of the condemner there to point out how horrible a job you are doing.
Or how bad of a job he wants you to think you are doing.
Or how you need to quit.
Or how it will never get better.
Scripture ENCOURAGES us that sheep that belong to the Lord will hear HIS voice and no other voice will they follow. (John 10:27) (my emphasis added).
So recognizing whose voice is speaking is a great part of the battle.
Once that recognition is made then we have to take those *voices* or those *words/thoughts* and bring it captive under the authority of Christ.
2 Corinthian 5:10 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The role of satan, the enemy of our souls, the enemy of our peace and the enemy of our victory is to steal, kill and destroy from us (those who follow and name the name of Christ).
To steal our peace, joy, contentment, victory, success, soundness of mind. Basically steal all that is good and for our good.
His job is to kill any glimpse of peace, joy, contentment, victory, success, soundness of mind. Basically kill anything that is good and for our good.
Oh…and his job is to utterly destroy our peace, our joy, our contentment, our victory, our success and our soundness of mind.
Basically destroying any good or anything that is for our good.
We HELP him in this battle by entertaining his *voice.*
Victory comes when we declare the TRUTH.
Victory comes when we PRAY!
Victory comes when we BE STILL! And STOP believing the lies fed to us.
Victory comes when we CHANGE what we think on.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
I’m praying for your victory over the voices. Please pray for mines too :)
Look for Words of Encouragement each Wednesday. If you are encouraged by a word shared please indicate it in the comment section. :) The guest bloggers and myself would appreciate hearing about it. :)
Serving You and Yours,