By the Grace of God (YHWH)

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I often get asked how do I do it (homeschooling) with four kids. It is only by THE grace of YHWH/God. I actually really enjoy it…frustrations and all. Prior to this past week, I was frustrated with my second son because it was taking him longer to read his books. It wasn’t because he was struggling or couldn’t do it; rather, it was because he did NOT want to read those books. I told my husband of my frustration. He responded: “He’s just not interested in those books. Let him read what he wants to read.” I said, he only likes to checkout cookbooks from the library. He encouraged me to just let him read them.  He said that kids are eager learners and demonstrators. They only resist when they are uninterested. So, that Sunday evening as I planned the lessons for the week, I had the idea to make index cards with facts about him and the things that he enjoyed. Last Monday when I handed him his work folder and told him that he would be reading the cards instead of the books, he was so delighted! He read and read those cars all week long….forward and backwards; and created new sentences with them, as well as asked for more cards. Wow! What a difference a little God idea makes.

In addition to the reading switch for my six year old, they made their own little creations out of the air drying molding clay; as well as put together a robotic spider. Boy was that a hit! I’m going back to Walmart and buying the other five robotic creatures that they had. Our school is run somewhat like a Montessori School.

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They are free to select whatever they want to work on or play with; and I just rotate between the four of them to teach or explain new concepts or help when there’s a need for it. I work one-on-one with my two year old with her shapes, colors, numbers and abc…..only because she wants to. I’m sure her older siblings serve as an inspiration for this desire. I’m all about letting little kids learn through play and observation. My favorite part of being my kids’ principle educator is the discussions, dialogues and teachable moments that happen all throughout the day. I just love it!

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There are moments when I’ve had about enough of my little people. That’s when it’s time for quiet time. They go into their rooms and have the option of napping or doing a quiet activity for an hour. There have also been moments when I have left my house as soon as my husband stepped foot in the door. There’s no need for an explanation of any kind. My husband just says: “Mommy needs a moment.” So between God’s grace, my husband’s wisdom and my knowing when to take breaks, this homeschooling thing works well for our family. Also, teaching my children how to pray the word of God, biblical principles for marriage, and finances; as well as who God says that they are, is work that I am truly honored to do.

If you are a full-time homeschooling parent, what do you love about teaching your children? If you are a part-time homeschooling parent (your child(ren)) attends private or public school), what do you love about teaching your children?

As always, have an EXCELLENT week and I’ll see you on the blog!

Homeschooling…..a call

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NEVER in a million years did I EVER think I’d be homeschooling my children. It was just wasn’t anything that I had ever considered. Apparently, God had other plans. As ALWAYS, He knows best! I must say, that I do so enjoy being with my kids nearly all day every day. People always say: “Boy, you’ve got your hands full.” AND you homeschool them too?” I simply reply, my heart is full; and I do homeschool all four of them. Many of them are just looking at four children; but what they don’t see at first glance is the God who guides me and leads me in the instruction of my children. Isaiah 54:17 (MSG) says: All your children will have God for their teacher – what a mentor for your children!  I believe this with all my heart.

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We begin our mornings with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. We also read scripture and right now, the kids are learning Psalm 91. They have four more verses to learn, in order to memorize the whole chapter. I love this time; because they are SO inquisitive about God and ask SO many questions. A lady asked my oldest son (7) what he liked most about homeschool; to which he replied: “quiet time.” She then asked him, what’s your favorite thing about quiet time. He said: ” Talking to and listening to my God.” Her mouth dropped open.

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Monday through Friday, the kids work on Reading, Language Arts and Math; with Monday, Wednesday & Friday, being heavier Language Arts days; while Tuesday and Thursdays are heavier Math days. They do History and Science at least once a week. The kids also take art class, swim lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, gymnastics, ninjanastics, Preschool Storytime, and are part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) club. Besides the academic subjects, the kids are learning how to contribute to the household, to be good stewards of money utilizing the biblical money system, their part in taking care of our community; as well as widows and orphans, hearing and obeying God’s voice, how spouses work together in their different roles, how to honor God, parents, each other and others; and so much more.

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I thank God for this opportunity to minister to my children; as well as a front row seat to watch; as they grow and develop in each of their gifts and callings.  Yesterday, while working with my oldest son on his spelling words, I gave him hi-fives; because he got them all right; after only having them for a day! I was so excited and so was he; and he exclaimed: “Mom, I’m so proud of myself!” I said: I am too son! He says he loves working with me on his school work. That is certainly the grace of God! I love discovering ways to engage them in their learning. As a group fitness instructor, I  always had a plan for class; but sometimes, I could see other choreography and exercise in my head as I taught the class. Those were some of my BEST classes. I knew that the grace of God flowed through me as I taught classes; because of the effect on the people. One day, a lady came up to me after class crying; and telling me how taking my classes just lifted the depression off of her. That’s when I knew it was a God thing. It’s the same way with my children. I have lesson plans in place; but I can often see another way to get a concept across to engage them; and we have the best time! I thank God that He is leading my children’s education.

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Do You Trust God?

God is good! I was in the shower yesterday after my workout, just praising and thanking God for how He always provides for me …both my needs and wants. I thought about the many ways that He takes care of me daily. My husband went out of town earlier this week; but he left a stash of cash,just in case the kids and I needed anything. Every week, a friend of mine brings home-baked goods and snacks for my children. My children give me the sweetest compliments daily. My husband makes me laugh like nobody’s business. People give me brand new and very gently used clothes and shoes all the time. I always get close parking spaces everywhere I go. Random people have given me money. A man showed up at my door one morning and handed my an envelope filled with money; as well as five bible verses written on it.

God gave me a brand new car debt-free; and the very next day, gave my husband a brand new debt-free car as well. The beauty of this blessing is that I wanted an escalade. I test drove it and liked it; but I had three kids under the age of four at that time. The thought of having to lift all of them in and out of the car; along with my big stroller, was a bit much. So my wise husband suggested that we go over to the toyota dealership and give the sienna minivan a try. I NEVER EVER thought I would EVER drive a minivan. I was too cool for that!  BUT, I drove it and LOVED it; and my little kids could get in and out themselves. So that’s how I ended up with my minivan. God knew best! The other part of the blessing was that God instructed my husband to go and get the escalade the next day. He had no intention of buying a new car; but He obeyed and God provided (as He always does). God gave me a beautiful situation, because my husband is always there when i’m in the escalade and I never have to load and unload the kids. As much as I like the escalade; I really do appreciate and enjoy the sienna…..and I’m still cool. Thank you Father!

Yesterday, while at the balloon festival, an older gentleman walked up to me and handed me 4 tickets for the bouncy house. It is the one thing that my kids wanted to do. My kids said: “Thank you God! He always gives us favor!” Yes indeed He does. I thought about that. There was a huge crowd of people at the festival; and of all those people, a random man comes up to me with enough tickets for all of my children? God is real people and He’s pretty big on taking care of our wants and needs. God is my shepherd and my Jireh. He is the sole supplier of all of my wants and needs. I am 100 percent convinced that God wants us to live our lives in TOTAL reliance on Him alone. I know beyond all shadows of doubts that He will not and can not fail me. If the birds can trust Him; how much more can we? (Matthew 6:26-33) Do you really trust God? Do you trust Him to meet your desires and needs? Do you trust Him to take care of you regardless of your income? Do you trust Him in the face of an evil report? Do you trust Him with your marriage? Do you trust Him with your children? Do you trust Him with you? Do. You. Trust. God?

Faith over Fear

Mark 5.36

 

Yesterday, while at the amusement park, I lost sight of my 3 year young daughter for a few minutes. I was sitting on the side with my 1 year young daughter and a couple of friends. I’d made eye contact with my older two sons; so I knew they knew where I was. My 3 year young daughter didn’t know know where I was sitting. Both of my sons had come over to where I was sitting; but she was not with them. I scanned the pool area; but didn’t see her. I calmly got up and walked to one side of the pool area where we were. As I walked, I prayed. I said: “Father, you know all things, including where Hannah is. You give your angels charge over us to keep us in all of our ways. I thank you for keeping Hannah; and for sending the angels out to bring her right to me. As I turned to head back to walk to the other side of the pool area, a woman had my daughter’s hand and brought her right to me. She said something like: She looked like she wasn’t sure where you were. I graciously thanked the woman; and thanked God, because I knew that He had answered me….and that I can never lose anyone of anything that I entrust to Him.

How do you think you would’ve reacted, given this circumstance? Many would’ve reacted in fear; because this is when the enemy comes in and fill your mind with thoughts of what could go wrong.  He needs fear to enable his operation; but the Father needs faith for His Spirit to operate. I chose faith; and resisted any thoughts otherwise.This has been a practice for more than 20 years in this area of my life. I learned that I could trust God to return lost things to me. I’ve misplaced my wallet on 3 different occasions within a 20 year time span. Each time, my wallet was returned to me with everything in it. It is my instinct and expectation to always receive back anything that I might not know of it’s location at the moment. I also trust and take comfort in God’s omnipotence. There’s nothing that He doesn’t know……especially concerning me (Psalm 19:1 tpt). My confession for many years was that I NEVER lose anything in God’s kingdom; since I sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Another confession that I’ve been saying for the past couple of months is that “Every good and perfect give comes from God (James 1:17). Today is my gift; therefore, it will end perfect and it will end good. That is my expectation; and God delivers each and every day.  What scriptures do you use to build up your confidence in and expectations of the Heavenly Father? What are some ways that HE has come through for you?