When Life Crashes Into Homeschooling

Life happens!  No matter who you are you will face some sort of difficult circumstance at some point in life.  Probably at many points in life truthfully.  Being able to roll with the punches can be a challenge but it can also be a mark of character.  Showing your children how to adapt to life’s circumstances teacher them more than any math lesson could.

As homeschoolers we likely have more flexibility to adapt than other family’s might.  I’m a stay-at-home mom.  My children don’t have to be picked up or dropped off at school at any certain hour.  This means we can help others out when they are in need.

Recently we’ve been blessed to be able to do just that.  Unfortunately my mom has faced some difficult medical circumstances and she’s need support to get to doctor’s appointments and treatment.  While I would so much rather that she didn’t have to face this ordeal I decided to grab it as an opportunity.  An opportunity to show my children how we care for loved ones and how to be roll with what life tosses at you.

I share with you a picture I took on whim one day.  We were waiting in a parking lot for my mother to finish her appointment. My children had packed up their backpacks full of math, grammar, poetry and a whole bunch of other things to keep themselves busy. I didn’t think much of the photo.  I was sending it quick to my mom just to show her what her crazy grandchildren were up to.  Thinking back now I think it shows a lot.  It shows just how life keeps going even when hard circumstances crash into it.

I’m thankful for homeschooling.  Without it I couldn’t be there for my mom.



Remembering Sept 11th

As I do every year I am praying for those who lost loved ones on that horrific day not so long ago.  May God grant you peace. Your loved one is not forgotten.


Encouragement for Today: Capture Your Thoughts

EncouragmentMothersCaptureThoughts I think mother’s today have become particularly vulnerable to attacks to the heart.  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a stay-at-home mom trying to cobble a part-time income, a mom who works full-time or some crazy variation of of any of these things it doesn’t matter.  Today we live in a culture that constantly bombards us with message that we aren’t good enough in whatever we do.  If you aren’t living a Pinterest perfect life… and really who does…. you aren’t enough!

Oh and even if you DO live that sort of life then that isn’t good enough either!  You have to have a life full perfect balance. You should create a home and a life of beauty, creativity, and excitement.  Your children should be perfectly well behaved, super intelligent, and fantastically athletic.  Yet if your life is TOO good or your children are TOO perfect… well then you must be fake.

Women turn these things into an internal dialog.  They start to tell themselves that whatever it is that they do it isn’t right.  It isn’t enough.  They’re too much like this or too little like that.

  • You work too much!/You should contribute to the household income.
  • You homeschool and your 5 year old hasn’t graduated college yet?/Wait… don’t push those kids too hard.. start school later it’s better for them.
  • You’re home is too clean! Don’t you spend any time with your kids?/Your house is a mess! Why can’t you keep it clean?
  • You must pay attention to your husband!/Don’t you know you need time for yourself!

I could go on!  But I won’t.  I know I’m not the only one who can get down on myself when I can’t make myself live up to my own (or the world’s imaginary) expectations.  I hear women talk of these things all of the time.  I will tell you this… if you are walking close with God then you are living the life that He has laid out for you.  You are loved and you are perfect in His eyes.  He does not want you dwelling on these crazy thoughts that you are doing things right.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5

If you are walking in obedience to God you can stop worrying.  Take these false ideas, these negative thoughts, wrap them up in a bundle and give them to God.  He’ll take care of them for you.  Then revel in the freedom of living life without the weight of the negativity.



Real Life Homeschooling: The Learning that Happened

It’s nearly summer.  A lot of schools in our country have already dismissed for the summer.  Schools here in my state have a week or two left to go.  It is the time of year when I can’t help but reflect on what we’ve accomplished this school year.  We have taken a more year round approach to our learning so that each day can be a bit more relaxed but I still can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for what has happened around here since the fall.

In the fall I had a new baby to love.  Our co-op that I head up was (and is) ever expanding.  I had fresh curriculum plans.  A 4 year old who craved a bit more mommy time, especially if it included anything “school” like.  My boys were just about to turn 9 and 7.  If they were in school we would have called them fourth and second graders.  It was quite a lot to juggle.  I was also determined and I mean DETERMINED to keep up with our out of the house adventures as best as I could.  We spent last year traveling all over the state for our learning fun and I didn’t want to see that stop.

Now here it is the spring.  Co-op was a TREMENDOUS success.  We suffered through a long rough winter so our field trip adventures were a bit curtailed but not totally squashed.  My baby is a mover and shaker now keeping me on my toes and she is crawling everywhere and into everything.  My 4 year old is now a 5 year old and just recently took a keen interest in reading.  She’s dragging me along because I’m just not ready.  My boys learned all about the great adventurers who traveled the world in search of a spice trade route.  We know way too much about ocean creatures now.  We’ve traveled through Narnia and back more than a few times.  We’ve learned of missionaries and great people of history.  We’ve prayed for the persecuted church and stood in faith that God will deliver.

We’ve battled math tantrums and the “I don’t want toos.”  We’ve traversed new relationships and made new friends while balancing life with those we’ve known a long time.  We’ve laughed and cried and played and fought and yes… we learned.

IMG_20150527_101824So where are we are right now?  We are doing a lot of reading aloud.  I’ve come to accept that this style of schooling REALLY fits us.  We adore it!  I had the opportunity to list to Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) at a recent homeschool conference (we also happen to be reviewing more IEW curriculum right now).  His take on what the Language Arts are and the best way to foster a love for language in children was amazing.  It validated my read aloud approach and so I am running with it.  Of course we still have hands on activities that go with our read alouds but reading is at the heart of our school right now.

I feel our school is taking a slightly classical turn.  We are starting to delight in doing things like memorizing poetry and even learning Latin.  These aren’t things I felt we had time for before but now that I’ve worked it out I’m thrilled.  We are SO enjoying it.


We have completed 5 of the Chronicles of Narnia books as well.  We are taking a little break before number 6 and instead enjoying literature from G. A. Henty.  Our children LOVE Narnia.  Our early explorers ship that we built in the playroom is now the Dawn Treader.  Joyanna is using her princess dress up clothes to pretend she is Queen Lucy.  Ezra is always King Edmond and Noah love to be High King Peter.  They play for HOURS!

Ezra found a love for computer programming this year.  He is neck deep in a course from Youth Digital.  He is learning Java by creating mods for Minecraft.  Ezra’s programming work is similar to what his Daddy does every day at work.  That makes it all the more exciting.

Noah has taken some creative writing classes through Minecraft Homeschool. That little boy is developing a love for writing adventures!  He decided Narnia needed an 8th book.  So he is working on it as we speak.

20150529_132455Joyanna is dabbling just a bit in more formal curriculum.  It makes her feel like a big girl!  I try to discourage her from working too hard every day.  I love it when she takes the day to play.  She is still so young!  Her favorite thing to do right now is sit with her baby sister and some picture board books.  Joyanna “reads” the pictures to her sister and they both giggle.


Somedays are chill out days.  There are a lot of great documentaries on Netflix.  Once in a while we really dive in and see what we can learn.  How the States Got Their Shapes is one of our favorites right now!

We spent our spring studying the ocean with the help of Apologia.  We put our Mystic Aquarium membership to good use as we visited often and took advantage of their homeschool classes.  We will wrap up this study with a great trip out to sea to do some whale watching.  This turned out to be the most amazing study we’ve ever done.  I don’t know how I’ll ever top it!  Noah is now itching to do a broader Biology study.

Co-op was amazing this year!  Now sometimes co-op can feel like quite the endeavor.  Keeping that ship sailing straight can take a lot of physical and emotional energy out of this momma.  But over all it is tremendously worth it.  We saw our community really blossom this year.  We were blessed with moms who stepped up to create and teach some FANTASTIC classes.  The field trips were out of this world.  The whole thing really keeps us hopping.  We ended the year with a Student Showcase.

CSH_7081The kiddos had the opportunity to create table displays or do little performances that reflected what they have learned or what they loved.  Grandparents and family members were invited to enjoy everyone’s hard work.  It was an amazing night.  Everyone is talking about next year already!

Homeschooling can really be a blessing.  We have the opportunity to take life at our pace and stop and smell the roses as they say.  Every time I take my crew out on another adventure I marvel at how blessed we are.  Instead of being stuck inside and tied to a desk we are outside experiencing life and the real world.  The absolute best moments are when our learning comes together in a surprising way.

20150525_160358Recently we spent that day at a local living museum Mystic Seaport.  It ended up being an impromptu day with friends as well.  We climbed on ships (and pretended we were sailing the Dawn Treader again).  We hoisted sails, we learned all kinds of history.  And yet the highlight of the day was when we stopped by the waters edge and dug for muscles.  The kids could have stayed in that one spot all day.  It was encouraging to listen to my boys talk about all of the things they had learned about sea creatures during our studies. We aren’t a family that does much in the way of testing, it isn’t needed, life shows us they really are learning and retaining.

There were days this year when I let the exhaustion of this crazy life and the long dark cold winter get to me.  I lost sight of the good, no great things, that were really happening.  So this spring as I look back I rejoice.  I couldn’t imagine a better life.

15 Years! A look back…


15 years ago on this day my then fiance Todd and I become graduates of Eastern Connecticut State University.  I was the first in my family to graduate from college.  At the time I thought I was destined to a long career as a public school teacher.  I landed my first job a couple of months later.

A year after this we got married.  I did teach in public schools for 6 years!  I gained a master’s degree and so did my husband.  We shared our first apartment, our first home, and our second home.  We came to believe in Christ with all of our hearts.  We birthed four beautiful children.  We said goodbye to grandparents and relatives, and yes even one parent. We’ve had heart ache and grief.  Friends have come and gone.  Our marriage has faced its own significant challenges yet we are still here.

When I look at this photo I hardly recognize that person.  A Christian  stay-at-home homeschooling mom to four was not what I saw in my future on that day.  Yes I wanted kids… two… but they’d never stop me from working! That’s crazy talk!  Homeschoolers were crazy!  Not that I ever thought much of them.  Serving others through my church? Tithing…. hahahahahah crazy crazy crazy!  Why should I?

God changed my heart and changed my life and changed my plans.  THIS life is way better than the one I was dreaming of on that day!  Thank you God!

Where will I be in 15 years?  I’m almost afraid to think about it because…. God only knows and likely it isn’t exactly what I have in mind.

Real Life Homeschooling: The Mess

Homeschooling is MESSY!  My house is a DISASTER most of the time!  Not only do 6 of us live here but 5 of us work here as well.  ALL.DAY.LONG.  Books!  Oh my goodness the books!  We go to the library and take 100 out at a time.  I haven’t found a basket large enough to store them all.  Even if I did these are children you know.  Books are EVERYWHERE!  Books on the floor, on the table, on the couch, on the stairs, on the kitchen table, on the counters.  If it is a flat surface there are books on it.

When this photo was taken not only was my living in homeschool chaos mode but also being prepped to be painted!

When this photo was taken not only was my living in homeschool chaos mode but also being prepped to be painted!

Or papers… or pencils… or crayons… or art supplies… or some projects…. some creation… a really cool thing my son found outside.  No matter how organized, how many routines and systems I put into place… homeschooling is just a mess.

When I was teaching preschool in the public schools I told all of the parents before the year began… “A messy child at the end of the day means the spent their time learning.”  A messy home at the end of the day means my children spent their day learning.

Someday when they are all gone and living life on their own I will miss it.  Our mess means life and learning are happening right here every day under my roof.  What else can I ask for?


Real Life Homeschooling: The Fear

I’m continuing today with my series on Real Life Homeschooling.  Yesterday I shared with you what our crazy schedule looks like most days. It is pretty chaotic as you can see.  The feedback I received from that post was a bit overwhelming. It seems to be a relief for other moms to learn that they are not alone stumbling through the daily chaos.

Today I share with you my homeschooling fears.

I think people perceive me as pretty confident in my parenting and homeschooling.  Truthfully though I carry many fears about this homeschooling thing.


So what am I afraid of?

1. I’m afraid that some day my kids will hate me because their childhood went against the grain of society.  Homeschooling becomes more common by the day so this fear ebbs a bit a time but I still fear that they’ll decide I some how screwed them up because they didn’t have the typical traditional school experience.

2. I’m afraid that that I’ll miss teaching them something vital.  I laugh at this one.  It’s so silly.  No traditionally schooled child learns absolutely everything (and they forget half of what they learn) so I really don’t why this one bothers me.  It makes me decide grammar is super important one week and not so much the next.  I mean… when in life do you ever diagram a sentence?

3. I’m afraid I’m teaching them the wrong way. I’ve thought about this one more these days as the internet floods with what looks like ridiculous Common Core math where it takes 100 steps just to figure out what 28 plus 32 equals.  I have my children to figure this out the way I learned it.  Will they go take some standardized test some day and be flunked in math because they do things my way?

4. I’m afraid I’m not doing enough! If our schooling isn’t blog/pinterest worthy, if we aren’t in 20 different activities, if we aren’t cruising through all of our curriculum, if we aren’t visiting with friends a million times a week…. if if if if if… I always feel like there is something I’m not teaching them (Latin anyone?) or some experience they are missing out on.  No matter how much we are doing I am convinced it just isn’t enough.

5. I’m afraid that homeschooling will damage our relationship.  Right this minute my son is working on an essay.  Each time he hands it to me I have to REMEMBER and REMIND MYSELF to find the things he does right and not just harp on the things he needs to work on.  I’m blessed with incredibly bright children.  I have high expectations however our relationship is far more important than learning to write the perfect essay.

6. I’m afraid that when my children grow up and move on in life I won’t know what to do with myself. Someday I won’t be a homeschooling mom any more. My entire life is wrapped up in educating and disciplining my children day in an day out.  What will I do when that is over? That scares me!

7. I’m afraid I’m so caught up in the details that life is passing me by! While I’m so worried about whether or not my son can write a great essay are more meaningful experiences passing us by?

Taking 100% responsibility for your children’s education… yeah this is scary stuff!  Logically though I know that what I am doing is the absolute best.  And just like I said in yesterday’s post, when I come up for air I can see the fruits of my labor.  Thankfully I have a husband who cares enough to point out the good things to me.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… my God is the one really in control of everything and if I trust Him He will ensure my children and I get everything we need.

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

Real Life Homeschooling… The Schedule

Today I kick off a blog series all about what homeschooling is REALLY like!  The nitty gritty, roll up your sleeves, get out and put some elbow grease into work.  I certainly don’t want to make homeschooling look scary or ugly because it isn’t… usually.  It certainly isn’t all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops either.  So here I am, opening the doors wide to my home and letting you see what truly lies behind this crazy world of mine where I homeschool 2 1/2 children (I say 2 1/2 – one 9 year old, one 7 year old, and one just getting started with some kindergarten level work – she’ll be 5 next month) all with a baby underfoot.

You have to promise me one thing before you read on.  I’m getting a bit vulnerable here and I’m holding nothing back.  Please be kind to me… AND! You have to promise me that you truly understand that no two homeschools look alike.  NONE!  What I do is TOTALLY different from what some of my friends do.  So no comparing.  AND PLEASE don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong!  That’s the last thing any mom needs to hear.


Real Life Homeschooling Part 1: OUR SCHEDULE!

Oh boy our schedule!  This is a thorn in my side because there is the ideal that I’d like to see and then there is REALITY!  Once upon a time we a sweet little routine schedule that we followed pretty well most of the time.  I got up early and accomplished a whole bunch of things before my children awoke.  I started the day dressed and relatively put together.  My bathroom got wiped down and my bed was almost always made and the laundry was generally always caught up.  It was pretty sweet!  Then baby number 4 came along.  Woosh out the window all of that went!  She’s a restless sleeper so getting up early is REALLY tough for this mom!  So very little gets done in the mornings these days.  Truthfully I play catch up all day long.  Honestly most days I feel like a dog chasing my tail.

Here’s what it REALLY looks like right now….

7:15 – I peek at the clock and say some not nice words to myself because the kids will be up any minute and I failed to get up early AGAIN!

7:30 – Nurse the baby while trying to balance a plate with something edible for breakfast.  Thank GOODNESS my husband gets the kids fed most mornings.  I’d crack under pressure if this was my job.

8:00 – Guess what!The baby wants to nurse again. Didn’t we just do that?  My other kids are SUPPOSED to be making their beds/getting dressed/cleaning up/getting chores done… instead they are acting like wild animals while I holler up the stairs trying to try and keep them on task.

8:30 – Kiss Daddy goodbye (sometimes I panic a bit… he is a great husband and father and I am always sad to see him leave for the day)

8:35 – The kids still haven’t finished the chores that should only take 20 minutes.  Once they do they are SUPPOSED to read a book from our library book basket.

9:00 – I am balancing getting the baby down for a nap, while trying to pick up some dirty laundry off of my bedroom floor and creating a load to go in the wash… these days the bed rarely gets made and the bathroom only gets wiped down when walking in there makes me want to vomit or we have company coming.  During all of this chaos I’m hunting down something suitable to wear for the day… maybe.

9:30 – I am finally ready to start school.  By now the boys have made their way to the school room (God willing) and have started tackling some of the things they do independently – Like lessons in Kahn Academy or their typing program.  For the past 30 minutes my 4 year old comes to me every 3 minutes asking me “Mommy when will you do school with me today?”  A smart mom would create something for her to do at this time so she’ll stop that… I haven’t done that yet.

We are supposed to start with Bible study.  We do, sort of, sometimes.  Ok I don’t actually know what we start with.  By now there is usually some catastrophe going on that I have to fix.  The dog got loose, someone’s computer won’t start right, the baby blew out her diaper, something is wrong with the washing machine.  You name it.

10:00 Break Time – yes I know.  BREAK TIME!  We haven’t started yet!  Usually by the now the kids are begging for a snack.  They go off to start some other chores and eat.  Don’t ask me what I’m doing.  I really don’t know!  I’m just… there.

10:30 – I’m begging them to hurry up so we can get back to school and get something done GOSH DARN IT!

10:45 –  Time to REALLY start school.  Usually I just pick a subject and we go.  Maybe it’s that science thing we are working on.  Perhaps someone needs some math help.  Writing maybe?  It is really all up to whatever my priority is for that day.

11:00 – Just as we get started the baby wakes up hungry and in need of a diaper. I scurry off to do that as fast as I can.  Then I come right back and juggly nursing while overseaing whatever the task of the moment is.  Usually all 3 children are working on something different so I am being tugged in 4 directions at once.  And so it goes until lunch.

12 or 12:30 – We break for lunch.  Usually I have some sort of internal meltdown because I can’t find ANYTHING in the fridge acceptable to eat.

1:00 – I send the kids to play.  I just need a little break.  Usually the baby is pretty happy so I just sit.  I have to or I’ll loose my mind.

2:00 – Baby goes back to bed.  I love to read aloud to my children so I will often nurse the baby to sleep while I read.   After that the rest of the crew gets down to work again.

3:30 – Adventures in Odyssey comes on the radio.  We stop and listen.

4:00 – This is when I’d LIKE to have the kiddos work on some independent projects.  Guitar, computer programing, an independent unit study, an art project.  This time is really the magical time of the day IF we have time for it.


Some days we have swimming lessons and we are racing out of the door to get there on time.  Other days we have co-op… again we race out the door (side note, how parents with kids in school get out every day? I’d rip my hair out!).  Then there are our field trips.  I LOVE field trips.  Often in the afternoons we have to cut things short because my daughter has karate.  It seems we always have to stop just as we are FINALLY starting to get into a groove.  ARGH!

A homeschool life can be pretty chaotic.  I have SO MANY crazy goals for my children’s learning.  I want LOTS of time for independent projects and pursuits. I want LOTS of time for them to play independently and dream up awesome stuff with their vivid imagination. I want LOTS of opportunities to participate in group activities like co-op, swimming lessons, and karate.  I want LOTS of time for us to go out and explore new and interesting places or to simply cuddle up and read a wonderful book together.  I want LOTS of time for structured learning, especially math and writing.  Except I only have 7 days in a week and there are only about 14 or so awake hours in their day.

Truth be told we don’t get lots of time for any of these things.  At least not all at once.  I’ve had to accept that it is ok to go through seasons.  Some weeks we do a lot of structured learning.  Some weeks we are going non-stop to field trips, classes, events… etc.  Some weeks they are really excited about something they love so I let them spend a whole bunch of time exploring that.  There are weeks when the weather is just gorgeous so we dump everything, load the van, and hit the trails or the parks.  Then there are the days where we are just sucked into our read aloud and we hardly move from the couch.

I’m trying to teach myself that all of this is ok.  Despite the chaos and days where I could absolutely swear that we have gotten NOTHING worthwhile done, we do.  We really really do.  I don’t see it in the moment for I am lost amongst the trees and I cannot see the forest.  Once in a while I husband drags me for air and points it all out for me.  Then I see the growth and progress.  I see just how much they are learning.

The first miracle Jesus did that is documented in the Bible is when He took ordinary water and turned into the most extraordinary wine.  Jesus takes my ordinary efforts at educating and raising my children and He turns it all into wine.  Whatever we are doing it IS working but that is because my God is in control, not me.  I praise Him and I worship him for it every day.

Homeschooling doesn’t look pretty but my goodness we make progress every day.

Note to my husband:  Yes, the next time I have a little mini breakdown and insist that it is all a mess and we aren’t getting ANYWHERE feel free to put this post in front of me.

So there you have it.  What one family’s homeschooling day REALLY looks like.

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

ClassDojo App…. Traveling Further Down The Extrinsic Motivation Path


I’m a former public school teacher and I can’t help be at least mildly curious when school related news headlines splash across the screen.  This morning a news article about this new classroom management app called ClassDojo caught my attention.  The news article described this program where teachers give children points based on their classroom behavior and participation.  Of course they take points away for bad behavior. There were numerious parents and teachers making comments about how amazing this system is.  Go ahead and watch a video about this system.

Apparently the children’s points CAN be posted publicly for all to see.  Some people are concerned about privacy.  I’m not sure why, teachers have been publicly humiliating children since modern education began.  When I was a student if we missed behaved our names were written on the board.  If we continued to cause trouble the teacher added check marks.  This was all very public. After so many checks there were consequences such as the loss of recess.  When I was teacher it was the ever popular and very public stop light system.  Every teacher had a pocket chart with every child’s name in the classroom.  If the child was having a good day they had a green card displayed next to their names.  If there was some trouble they had a yellow card.  If they were having a bad day they got a red card.  Red cards lead to consequences.

Personally I refused to use the Stop Light system and I took some flak for it.  I know there were some schools where teachers weren’t given on choice on that one.  EVERY classroom had to be on the system.  I preferred to create a classroom culture where such a thing wasn’t necessary.  As a special education teacher I had some individual students on personal behavior plans developed by the special education team.  I didn’t have a choice on that and in truth some children with very troubling behavior really needed those plans the very least as a way to start practicing positive behavior.  It was always my hope to move away from those plans eventually and I did have some success meeting that goal with some children.

Why do I have such an issue with these systems? Simply because they encourage children to behave or be kind or work hard not because they know in their hearts that it is the right thing to do but because they get something if the do.  No longer will children help a friend because they care for them but to get noticed and earn points from their teachers.  They won’t study hard and try their best on their schoolwork because they have a drive to learn but because they get points if they do.  They won’t sit quietly when their teacher is speaking out of respect but gather up those points. I’m assuming points earn you something like pencils or an ice cream party or something.  The news report didn’t say so but that’s my experience. I don’t think this is sustainable.  Eventually at least some children will stop caring about jumping through hoops for points.  Do we want children to behave for points or because they’ve developed a strong character and ethic?

I’m just getting ready to post my review of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  It is a book on Heart Parenting, a concept I love.  I already blogged about the book over here.  As parents and teachers we want to reach the hearts of our children lead them toward a righteous upright life because it is right, not because they will get something if do.

By the way, I have other concerns… this is an awful lot data being compiled on our children.  In fact I read one teacher’s comment about how amazing that is.  I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.  What are your thoughts?


When a Book Review Comes Along at Just the Right Time – Motivate Your Child


I’ve been given the awesome opportunity to review another Heart Parenting book by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN.  You might remember their Christian Parenting Handbook that I reviewed earlier. The Heart Parenting concept taught in the first book changed my parenting and our home so much that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another book by these authors.

The new book, being released later this month, is titled Motivate Your Child. Can I just say that I have been STRUGGLING with this for a while and just last week things sort of came to a head around here. My children are children and as pretty much all children do (and many adults as well), they shirk responsibilities as much as possible.

In fact I have given each of my children new nicknames because whenever I look to see if responsibilities (chores, school work, etc.) have been completed my oldest will likely tell me “I forgot!” My second son will claim “You didn’t tell me!” And my oldest daughter will claim “I can’t do it!”

This has been driving me MAD! Completely and utterly mad! Their effort in most things is mediocre at best. Everything takes FOREVER to get done and it is all done with much moaning and complaining. I’ve had to become a micromanaging task master just to get us through our day. It is exhausting and it isn’t doing a darn thing positive for our relationships. It is even putting something of a dark cloud over my marriage as my husband is coming home to a stressed out and grumpy wife nearly every day.

I believe in God who knows just what I need before I even do. Amazingly just this weekend and advance pdf copy of Motivate Your Child landed in my email box. Talk about answer to prayer. I’ve only just begun implementing some of their strategies.

Here is one of the first quotes that really struck me….

When parents choose their words carefully,
they’re contributing to the right kind of meditation for their children.

What this means is, right now I’m acting as my children’s conscience.  I tell them everything.  They don’t need to remember and honestly they don’t feel they need to do what I ask until I get agitated with them.  This is not how I want things to go and I’m sure they don’t either.

I made a plan to make things better. I came up with something of a script for myself (and my husband) to use repeatedly throughout the day.  Word cues I could give to my children to get them thinking about what they are doing.

For us some of these scripts include… Are you distracted or focus? Are you being diligent or absent minded? Are you being careful or careless?  Are you being caring or disrespectful?

Let me show you how this is working for us now.  My boys are responsible for sweeping our kitchen every day.  Many days they distract themselves by turning the brooms into swords to play fight with and in the end they do a terrible job.  Mommy gets aggravated and I start in with them… “Stop playing around! Get the job done! Look you missed this whole side!  What are you doing? I’m waiting on you to get other stuff done!”  Then they have to redo it.  Time and again.  What a waste of time and energy.

Now when I see them going down the wrong path I just have to say… “Are you being distracted or focused?”  That’s their cue to check themselves and start working the way they should.  No more Mommy badgering them and nagging.  After about a week I’ve actually over heard one say to the other… “Come on! We are being distracted! Let’s get focused!”  MUSIC TO THIS MOMMA’S EARS!  The words I’m using are more positive AND they are starting to use them on themselves.  GOLD MINE!

I’m looking forward to the next chapters! 1922283_841097825952421_4329519294050087241_n