Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers

Just Plain Fun!

Ray has been doing song parodies since we were first married, when most of our friends were other undergraduate and graduate students from church. One of my favorite parodies from back then was “Counting Wizard” which Ray wrote (to the tune of “Pinball Wizard” by The Who) for a pharmacy student. Another was “Dental Floss” which he wrote (to the tune of the Vanderbilt University fight song) for a dental student: Dental floss! Dental floss! Cleans your teeth so bright. In those gaps or you’ll need caps And you’ll lose your strong BITE, BITE, BITE! Dental floss! Dental floss! Buy it by the mile. Use it with your brush and paste And you’ll keep your smile. FLOSS! When Ray became a campus minister, we started doing funny skits at...

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Behind the Scenes

Saturday was a paint and hammer and cut and staple day as the Homeschool Dramatic Society moved closer to performances this week. While working on behind the scenes necessities for the play, I visited with a long-time dramatic society friend and learned for the first time the story of how she and her husband met and married. I’ll call this homeschooling mama and daddy Susan and Geoff. Susan went away to a Christian college for two years after she graduated from high school. After that she went to work in a Christian bookstore. After Geoff graduated from high school, he moved to a town in our area to live with his grandparents. His grandfather had developed Alzheimer’s and had gone to live in a nursing home. Geoff couldn’t stand the thought of...

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Just Say No to Formula Parenting

A woman recently told me about parenting advice she read in a resource popular among homeschoolers. Her comment began something like this: “I was reading in ______________ the other day; and if you will do such and such, then such and such . . .” Inwardly I cringed. If you have read this blog very long, you know that I believe in being a loving, devoted, and active parent. I believe in parenting. I just don’t believe in formulas. Parenting is about relationships. There is no formula for marriage relationships, for friendships, or for parenting children. Our heavenly Father is the perfect parent and He never gets it wrong — never, not ever. Still, His children mess up. They don’t do what He wants them to do all the time — not...

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“We Trusted the School to Properly Lead Them”

Ray and I each decided to read a book about Alaska during our trip there in mid-August. The book I chose was about Native Alaskans and was written by an Inupiaq. It was a natural choice for me, because I love to learn about native cultures. The author was born in 1941 and was the illegitimate child of a mother who took him and his sister away from their extended family when he was very small. His father was a man of European descent who never acknowledged his son. When the author was three years old, a male relative found the children neglected and living in moral and physical squalor in Fairbanks. They were about to be removed from the mother’s home, but the relative convinced social services to let him take the little boy back to their native town. There...

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An Alaskan Family Story

When our taxi driver delivered us to our Bed & Breakfast in Anchorage recently, our host met us outside and showed us to our room. We were ready for supper, so he directed us to the bike path behind their house and told us we might see a moose as we walked to and from a restaurant nearby. Welcome to Anchorage, where people number about 300,000 and moose number maybe 1500 (depending on whose estimate you read). We didn’t see any there, but we did see several in Denali, but that’s another story–so many stories, so little time! After greeting us, our host told us that he was going back to his shop. I figured he made things out of wood, but, no, this was Alaska. He had an airplane in there! We didn’t meet our hostess until the next morning...

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Practice, Encourage, and Practice Some More

When I was eight years old and my brother was five, our parents took us to Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana. Back in the 1960s, before it became the modern Holiday World, Santa Claus Land was a tiny amusement park, smaller than a midway at a rural county fair in the boonies. I have three vivid memories of our trip: Somehow Steve and I got lost and wandered around alone for a while before our worried parents found us. He and I had a ride on the child-sized Ferris wheel, which was so short Daddy probably could have touched its top if he stood on his tippy-toes. Steve and I crawled inside an igloo, made not of ice, but of concrete. I don’t know where I learned about Eskimos and igloos (at school and on television, I guess), but at eight years old I...

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Scene Changes

Dislike of change starts early in life. One of a child’s first lessons about self control comes when he is playing happily and Mama and Daddy say it is time to do something else. Sometimes that “something else” that Mama and Daddy have in mind is even more fun and satisfying than what the child is already doing. Still, it is hard for us humans, whether young or old, to let go of what is in the here and now and trust a wise parent to move us on to something else, even if that something else is better. During our cruise in Alaska in late August, I gazed out the window one quiet morning and watched the changing scenes. My first photo that morning revealed a break in a cloud where light illumined a patch of forest. Soon the clouds opened up and...

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