Happy Girl


What does it take to make a happy girl?

Here’s the recipe:

* Knowing she is a daughter of God
* Chances to work hard and serve others
* One-on-one time with Mom
* Challenging enough academic studies
* Time to read uplifting classic books
* A hobby to keep her hands busy
* Friends who share values
* Assurance that she is pretty and pleasing in personality
(. . . to name just a few)

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Mad Teenagers

lifeoflouisaI just listened to yet another mom describe her “mad teenagers”. This is a problem that seems all-too frequent amongst homeschooling families. And it is not necessary.

A family starts off excitedly homeschooling their little ones, and things go pretty well. Life is fun day-by-day being together. The kids are excited and learning. Mom is delighted with their progress. Read-aloud, field trips, library trips, hands-on science experiments, and more blend together to make a very satisfying lifestyle and educational experience. It seems her children will turn out the best ever! She teaches them about God, about honesty, about manners. They are smarter and more mature and respectful than their peers. Everything is going well.

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Communal Comparison

EmilyinaspensIt has been so long since I was in junior high and high school that I guess I forgot what P.E. was like. Our family attended an evening performance of the symphony in a local public high school auditorium. Afterwards, a trip to the restroom gave me some surprising insights. Since my children have never attended public school physical education, they had never seen the girl’s locker room before, particularly the communal shower. Julianna (14 years at the time) was shocked!

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What Will You Trade Your Time For?

coinsWe all get a finite amount of time to live on this earth; our days are numbered. Imagine that the time given to you is a bag of gold coins. Just what will you trade your coins for? It will run out no matter how you spend it. When you’ve spent the last coin, just what will you have?

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Never Reward Negative Behavior


boy-504326_1280One of the most important lessons that I ever learned is: “Never reward negative behavior!” That one line can make a world of difference in your family life. It is so simple, really!

Think of the little boy in the shopping cart seat who is whining, whining for candy. We’ve all seen it (and maybe lived it too!) The little guy is working up to a pitch, and his exasperated mother is getting frustrated. Next scene, the little boy is happily licking an ice cream cone. What lesson was just taught? “If I whine loud and long enough, I’ll get a treat!” You can bet that behavior will be repeated every time they go to the grocery store!

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That Indispensable Gift Box



I have something tucked away in my closet that I refer to often. Here is what is does for me:

  • saves me time
  • stretches my money
  • prevents last minute shopping trips
  • gives me incentives to help motivate my children
  • keeps me feeling prepared
  • enables me to take advantage, at short notice, of opportunities to serve others
  • provides me with unique, creative ways to show love
  • makes me well prepared for weddings, birthdays, graduations, new baby and other occasions

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Paper Clip Social Skills


Manners! It seems like a constant challenge to try to inculcate excellent social skills into our young’uns. My favorite way to teach good manners has been using the book The 21 Rules of This House. My children can recite every rule and explain it perfectly, and still we need work at being courteous and selfless. After going through the 21 rules, we came back to some of them to practice more. It was easy for the children to understand that it is wrong to tell a lie or to hurt someone. But it was harder to follow this rule: “We speak quietly and respectfully The 21 Rulesone with another.” We had discussed at length what it means to follow this rule, and how it includes not interrupting others or criticizing or gossiping about others. But to know is one thing, and to do is quite another!

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How to Stop Bickering, Pestering, Fighting, Teasing…


Does life at your house feel like this?


My son (age 11) and daughter (age 9) seem to bicker and “pick” at each other endlessly—even though they get in trouble for doing it. While we’re doing our schoolwork, it seems that they try their best to annoy each other…and me (making gross noises, talking nonsense in silly voices, humming, etc.). If he’s not complaining about her (“why does she always…”, she’s yelling at him to be quiet so she can work (or whining about it). They have desks and sit across the room from each other (not facing each other either!). This doesn’t happen just at school time, but all day long! They’ve been punished in various ways, but to no avail. I try to keep a good, patient attitude, but some days it’s really difficult. Do you have any ideas to stop the bickering? [Read more…]

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