Parents - Books, Support, Self-Cares

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Parents - Books, Support, Self-Cares

Unread post by cbollin »

Vision/Motivation for your homeschool?
mommyintraining wrote:How have you gotten a vision/motivation for your children and their schooling?

We know that this is what we want to do. But, what do you do in your school to help you see the big picture? I guess I am wondering how you keep your motor going. Thanks for any insight,
Terri in WA
Some of the MFW workshop titles that may be of interest in this area are:
Family Ministry: Becoming a Family of Purpose
Homeschooling A Way of Life

How do I keep my motor going? Sometimes it is from the big convention talks. Sometimes, it is in the snap shot moments of watching my 3 dd walk together, hand in hand -- together as a family.

As I drove home a few minutes ago, I remembered this thread from this morning. The song "I'm coming back to the heart of worship" started to run in my head -- except the words were a little different this time.

I'm coming back to the heart of home school
And it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

we're sorry Lord for the things that we make it
When it's all about You
all about You.

Maybe when you have these kinds of moments you need to write them down and grab the camera and put it on the wall in a place more important than a history timeline.
Last edited by cbollin on Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:15 pm

Great Question

Unread post by Fayth »

Well.. I think for us it's being able to know whats realistic in our household.

For us it's knowing:
How will I enjoy teaching different subjects, if I do at all? (hands - on , textbooks, video school etc.)

How do my kids enjoy being taught?( Mom instruction, discovery learning ets.)

What are my goals for this year? ( I commit year to year only..keeps it real for me: )

I also know my children keep changing so my dd may grow out of messy science projects (although that not in anytime soon)
As their ability to sit longer, write more, focus better with maturity out homeschool will change. I keep our goals in perspective..I know I will not EVER enjoy teaching Physics or Pre-Calc. so I would not even try (thats what's Daddy's for)

I keep myself going by teaching what feels good for all of us. I keep in mind that everyday will not be always be fun, kids will get colds, I will get colds, life will happen and I just love them and provide them with the best instruction I can in crazy times.

Thats all we can ask for. I lay my children at the feet of my Heavenly Father knowing they are on loan to me , and as I would treat anything on loan from anyone with care. I treat them extra special and I try to see them, love them with His heart and eyes.

I just keep in mind I am preparing them for Heaven not Harvard. (But, that would be okay if they went to Harvard ºÜº.)

Mommy to 3 wonderful babies!!!
Jill S
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:21 pm

Unread post by Jill S »

I got "my" vision by reading/sifting through lots of other visions! Also, I would have to say I have two different sorts of visions for our homeschool.

First, what am I ultimately tring to accomplish? For this, I have found R.C. Sproul, Jr.'s vision put forth in "When You Rise Up" to be helpful. That is, we are to teach our children Who God Is, What God has Done, and What God Requires of Us. (I'm not trying to push these ideas on anyone here, BTW!)

Second, what tools will I use as I seek to teach those concepts? Obviously I have decided that MFW is a means to those ends. So when I teach the history that Marie has so beautifully laid out, I make sure they see God's sovereign hand in all of history, for example.

My trouble is in balancing the two areas. I find myself in the most trouble when I start worrying too much about my secondary vision, e.g. what will I teach, am I getting in enough grammar, are they falling behind their peers, etc. I find myself the most content, although I will never accomplish it perfectly, when I focus on my main vision of raising godly children.

I hope this is an answer to your question and not completely off! I should further add that I am completing my fourth year of hsing, and I am only now getting to this level of clarity, such as it is. LOL
Mom to Alex, 12, Russia--RtR
Luke, 12--RtR
Song, 9, China--RtR
Vera, 8, Russia, Down Syndrome
Anna, 7--MFW1
Emma, 6, Down Syndrome
Ella, 3, Colombia, Down Syndrome
Julie in MN
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota


Unread post by Julie in MN »

I think I personally have two resources I turn to for vision (other than you ladies, of course).

First, I listen to tapes of convention speakers in the car. My Father's World tapes are my favorites of course :o) Sometimes I am encouraged that I am doing fine. Sometimes I get a bigger vision than my own little home (especially David Hazell on becoming a family of purpose!).

Second, I like to decide on what exactly I want to focus on for the year, and at the end of the year honestly look at whether I accomplished it.

I am not choosing curriculum for my son, because that is already set -- MFW is perfect for us :o)

I am simply looking at whether we can skim over spelling but should focus more on cursive. Or whether I am going to go slowly on math concepts & spend time on drill. Or whether ds needs to be pushed to challenge himself, vs. encouraged to stop & smell the roses. Or whether chores or manners are going to be our focus in the afternoon LOL!

I started this with my high school daughter, because there was so little time left. What can we be done with? We just can't do it all. So, are we going to focus on SAT skills, work habits, or faith issues?

Sometimes there is so much to think about that it helps my particular brain (& my heart) to lay things out in some kind of order.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Unread post by tiffany »

I think a combination of prayer, conventions, reading (both books and magazines) and talking to other homeschoolers would be a good start.

After you have your bearings, it would be good to make a list of objectives for your homeschool. Not so much a list of educational requirements, but things like - encouraging the love of learning, choosing a curriculum that incorporates spiritual teaching, building right relationships - things like that. I think of that list as a foundation that you can build the learning on. One magazine I really like is Homeschool Enrichment. They deal a lot with these core issues.

If you've already selected MFW as your curriculum, you won't really have to set educational objectives for the year. That's already been done for you. Hooray!

I definitely felt I was floundering without some sort of plan. We were past the Kindergarten and reading and writing phase. MFW has really helped me feel like I have a compass. I can let go of the details and focus on the big picture. That has been a relief for me.

With little ones, especially with babies in the house, things can seem crazy for extended periods of time. I think that's normal. Priorities may shift, but you can always go back to your core objectives and stick to the basics during those times.

We have been homeschooling for for 6 years now and this has been by far my favorite year!
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877
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Unread post by Fly2Peace »

Our coop group does a Mom's forum yearly. We all get together and share praises and offer encouragement. We share what worked for us, and what didn't and discuss why, and what we could do differently. We teach each other's children, so sometimes another viewpoint is interesting on our children.

I read things like the Minutes With Marie board (highly recommend, if you haven't already, or again if it has been a while).

I ask LOTS of questions, and read (Bible and prayer is a lot of this!) I discuss things with dh, interesting how he sees things differently than I.

The rewards? (List from Diana Hopkins article Homeschooling, You Can Do It!)
*getting to know and like and love your kids
*learning something yourself
*greater family unity
*teens who listen to your advice because they've grown up respecting you
*academic excellence of which you will be amazed!
*more mature kids who are not so prone to peer pressure
*stronger faith in God and less worldliness
*upbeat happiness in your home!
YOU CAN DO IT! Your love for your child makes you the most qualified teacher.

TERRIBLY LONG, but hope these words of encouragement help others, as they have me!
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

Thanks for this thread! I just now looked at it. I was avoiding it because the V-word is one of those touchy subjects in my house. Long story and I best not say any more.

However, as I cautiously clicked on this thread, I found some great ideas and none of this "oh, we have it ALL together" (actually, the MFW board never sounds like that unless it's from ME spouting off, and if I come across that way, I apologize).

Thanks for the ideas.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:34 pm

Re: How do you get a vision/motivation for your homeschool?

Unread post by annaz »

My dd is 5 almost 6 (June). I felt the exact same way. I have done nothing but research for two years. Last year, I went to the homeschool convention and looked at everything. I joined a homeschool group in my neighborhood and connected myself w/every forum and such on the subject.

Concentrate on one year at a time, NO MORE. Otherwise it's discouraging. That's why K is sooo good. It gave me a year to get my eggs in one basket!
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

We finally found "gentle"

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I just wanted to say, today we finished week 5, day 3 of ECC, and I feel like I now know what "gentle" schooling is like.

I'm enjoying teaching and reading to her.

Her attitude is getting better. She is trying harder at writing and spelling and math. I have the time to look ahead in the manual a little and prepare things ahead of time that we might not get done so quickly if I made her do it all (like the geography game). I feel the freedom to move things around (like moving art to light and independent days or even, gasp!, Saturday or Sunday) and that it's not going to ruin our days.

It's like a long drink of fresh ice-cold water after a long, hot, hike - aaahhh.


Postby TriciaMR » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:05 pm
It's not just that we've hit "cruising altitude," although that may be part of it...

My dh has a nick name for me: Military Mom. Think of a drill sergeant yelling, "Drop and give me 20!" I get in M.M. mode occasionally. (It doesn't help that Dad was a master sergeant.) With my old curriculum, I felt if dd didn't get all the blanks right, I wasn't doing a good job teaching, and I'd turn into M.M.

Then, this last summer I read some books about Charlotte Mason, and they talked about how you can't make someone learn a specific thing about a specific topic. People (or kids) are going to learn what they learn, and that's it. The idea of asking a kid at the end of the year, "Tell me everything you learned about North America this year." Or, "Tell me all you know about deserts." Rather than T/F or multiple choice about little details that don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

We read a couple of pages about deserts, and then she picks what was most interesting to her, not what some curriculum writer said should be most interesting or that she must know. This frees me from comparing her to others, and I just know she learned what she's going to learn from it this time. (She'll get it again in 8th grade.) This even carries over to math, in that I can accept she is learning at her pace.

I don't know exactly how to word it. I just feel different about her, about teaching, about school. It's not perfect everyday, but M.M. has disappeared.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: We finally found "gentle"

Unread post by mgardenh »

I am really happy for you. I glad that God is using MFW to change you and your relationship with your dc. I know God is certainly using it in our famly too. I'm so glad you introduced me to MFW.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: We finally found "gentle"

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

TriciaMR wrote:I don't know exactly how to word it. I just feel different about her, about teaching, about school. It's not perfect everyday, but M.M. has disappeared.
I think you've said it very well, and I agree that it is a beautiful thing. I'm one that has to remind myself that homeschool is about my dd's learning, and not about my teaching. It really is so much more fun to watch her get excited about something than it is to try to get her interested in something!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:03 pm
Location: South, USA

Re: We finally found "gentle"

Unread post by hsmomof5 »

I love this board! Everyone is so encouraging. I'm so glad I can come here for support too. :)
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

A bit of encouragement

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

My current copy of our state's home educator mag is on the kitchen counter. Dh discovered it had a little addition and whispered for me to come see. The headline was "WHY HOMESCHOOL?" Our 9yo dd had written, "BECAUSE IT'S WORTH IT!" in Sharpie underneath.

We had to sneak away to giggle. Yes, I took a picture of it. Yes, I'm going to keep it.

So here's some encouragement from me -- IT'S WORTH IT! :) A little reminder now and then is a good thing.
samandsawyersmom wrote:Chills!
Tears of joy!!!
Feelings of greatfulness that you posted this!!
I have to believe that all homeschoolers have that question in their heads from time to time!
Thank you for posting this!!
I have to agree with that! It's grace that gets us through.

And for dd to do that when I'm struggling with my own attitude trying to finish up this school year was a total blessing.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:22 pm

Re: A bit of encouragement

Unread post by Kelly1730 »

Aww, a keeper for sure!! My dh took our twin sons (10 in July, always homeschooled) to get haircuts last week and he said the stylist was asking them about school and they told her they were homeschooled and the LOVE it:) Granted, it's the only thing they've ever known but to hear them say it of their own accord was a blessing.
Mom to 6
Mimi to 8
MFW K, MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR ,EXP-1850, 1850-MOD, Ancient History and Lit 2016-17
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:09 pm

What do you do to take care of yourself as a homeschool mom?

Unread post by terick89 »

gratitude wrote:What do you do to take care of yourself as a home school mom?
Well, for sure it is very important to take care of ourselves as we're no good to anyone if we're not healthy or if we're feeling blah! I see you have pretty young children, so that makes it even more challenging! All I can say is you're in a season and it will pass. You will have more time to some of those long ago activities eventually. So for now you have to come up with a new plan. My kids are 12 1/2, so I can leave them alone if I want to walk by myself, but often I make them go, too! Also, if you ate healthy once before and it made you feel better you'll be able to do it again. My kids know I don't fix separate meals for everybody. But once in a while, I'll have "restaurant night" where they can each pick something I already have and I'll fix different dinners (easy food, of course, like something frozen). That is not an every night happening, though. The one thing that has helped me keep my sanity is "room time." My one friend calls it "FOB" (feet on bed). I have to have some peace and quiet during the day and this is the time where they each go somewhere away from each other and do quiet activities and I can regain some focus myself by reading or just getting things done without being interrupted so much. I also really enjoy being with other moms and our homeschool group has a once-a-month Mom's Night Out or a few of us will get together and have coffee or eat a meal out. Sometimes in the evening, my husband and I will walk without the kids. That has been helpful for the two of us. But, again you have younger children. Maybe you can do some swap time with another mom or perhaps a grandma can give you a small break? I don't know...just giving you a few suggestions. I sure hope you can find some time for you so you can re-energize. I seem to be way more run-down and burnt out since we decided to homeschool (on our second year now). So, I see the importance of exercise, eating right, and having time with your husband, and with other friends. And of course, I've found that I HAVE to read God's Word or I'm just messed up for sure!

Anyway, good luck and hang in there. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord and rely on Him!

DD, 12
DS, 12
DS, 12
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13
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Location: ohio

Re: What do you do to take care of yourself as a homeschool

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

I know how you feel.. I get into spurts of exercising and watching my calories. Then I get lazy again. With your schedule i would exercise for 30 minutes after dh leaves and before kids get up. or find a time that that the kids will play quietly or join you (try anyway) while you get some exercise in.
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @
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Re: What do you do to take care of yourself as a homeschool

Unread post by TriciaMR »

We've trained our children not to "get up" until 7:30. They can go to the bathroom, but they have to go back to their rooms and either read the Bible (if it is about 7:00), or go back to bed.

I get up at 5:00 and exercise on our elliptical for 30 minutes, and do a daily Bible reading on my Kindle and pray during that time. (I sure hope God doesn't mind me multi-tasking ;) .) Then, I usually have time for a lower body or upper body workout.

Then about 6:45, when DH is out of the shower, I go get mine, and I'm ready to greet the kids by 7:30.

I think meal planning is essential to getting those veggies. Sometimes its a pre-bagged salad, and sometimes I actually make a salad "from scratch," but I try to have a salad most nights. We also use one of those Oster Steamers, and I steam frozen veggies for dinner every night. There is so much variety in the frozen veggie dept, and the store brand is just as good as Green Giant. For lunch, I often have some left-over salad from the night before, plus a fruit and a pita sandwich (I try to find lo-cal bread options for lunch).

Then, my DH and I have talked about me being able to go to our Homeschool Support Group's Mom's Night Out each month, or if I have a friend that wants to go out once a month or so, being able to go out with them - to vent, to cry, to pray for each other. I find that is helpful emotionally to be talking to the other moms WITHOUT the interruption of littles.

I can pretty well get by on 7 to 7.5 hours a sleep a night, but I realize most people need 8. My DH and I go to bed anywhere from 9:00 to 10:00, depending on how tired he is that day. If you can get your kids to have a "quiet time" right after lunch for 30 minutes, while you get a 30 minute nap, I found that a WONDERFUL help physically when my sleep was super-interrupted by my twin boys (we had some weird spells at 2 and 4 where they just didn't sleep good for some reason). The older kids must stay on their beds with no talking, but they can read, draw, write, color, etc. Younger kids must lie on their beds with their heads on their pillows - they can be looking at books, but they must be horizontal!

Take what works for you. Not saying my way is the only way to do it.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: What do you do to take care of yourself as a homeschool

Unread post by MelissaB »

Hot bath.

Certain types of chocolate.

Never, ever begin a day without quiet time with the Lord....

Enjoyed reading Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit a few months back. That's helped a lot, too. (

Walk & exercise with friends.

Chase the children through the house, grab them and kiss their cute little cheeks - even if they protest! :-) :-)

(Loved reading the other mom's ideas, too. Thanks for posting a helpful question!!)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: What do you do to take care of yourself as a homeschool

Unread post by gratitude »

It is an amazing thing, but sometimes I can get on here and hear just the right words and get just the right ((hug)) and feel better and much more ready to start my day. Oh yes, it started hours ago but it has been one of those very productive (highly kid productive) and rough mornings (too many screams from the little one). Did those go together by any chance?

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the fact we are behind this year from the move last summer & our fall detour & just from basic errands and home school and schedules and my longing for exercise and spring weather. A little more organization, perhaps? Or, perhaps God it is just giving me more life moments to produce even greater patience in me.

Thank you; there are some great ideas on here! I am going to put some of them into place myself. And yes, I feeling like I have enough energy, now that my youngest is 3, to start thinking about shifting some of my priorities around again to include a better caring of mom.
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:31 pm

Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by forHisglory »

lea_lpz wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for homeschooling books for parents to read? I just finished reading For the Sake of the Children that came with the MFW K Deluxe package and really enjoyed it! I was wondering if there were some other good books you've benefited from reading on homeschooling. I would particularily be interested in Charlotte Mason, personal accounts of homeschooling families, and ones that offer good organization tips. Thanks! ;)
One of my very favorites (it's not about CM, though) is Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell ( I have read it at least twice and will read it again in the near future!

Karen Andreola writes a lot of books on CM, and they can be found at Christian Book Dist. or Amazon. Also, Catherine Levison writes wonderful books on the CM approach, and your library may have them, or Amazon. HTH!! :-)
Believing Christ's Love and Grace,
Shannon W.

Wife to Josh :)
Mommy to Ethan, safe with Jesus (November 29, 2002-June 5, 2010)
Mommy to Evan, 6--MFW 1st
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by mandolin »

I also liked the Maxwell's book Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.

I like all of Todd Wilson's stuff too. If you ever get the chance to hear him at a conference it is well worth it! My husband really enjoyed him as well.

widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio

Re: Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

Reading one now called a Charlotte Mason education by Catherine levison. Very quick read and gives lots of details style.
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:45 pm

Re: Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by courthart246 »

My favorite book on homeschooling is Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. Sally has also written some excellent books on motherhood.
Married 20 Years to Jamie
Loving MFW along with my three kids:
ds - 16 (World History and Literature)
ds - 13 (Exploration to 1850)
dd - 10 (Exploration to 1850)
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:10 pm

Re: Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by cefcdana »

One of my favorite reads right before I started teaching my daughter was "Things We Wish We'd Known: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling" put together by Diana Waring. 50 Veteran homeschoolers contributed several pages each of advice to new homeschoolers. Loved it! It's also nice to have on the bookshelf too because when I am feeling discouraged in the homeschooling realm, I can pick it up, read one of the vignettes in a matter of minutes, and walk away feeling a little better.
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm

Re: Good Books on Homeschooling for Parents

Unread post by kanderson »

Just wanted to chime and agree with the others that I love Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Terri Maxwell. The Maxwell's actually have a lot of great books and CD's about homeschooling and family life. We have just about all of their stuff. My husband really enjoyed reading the book Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family by Steve Maxwell.

married to dh since 2001
ds-9 ECC
dd-6 1st,
ds-4 MFW Pre-School/ Rod and Staff,
dd-2, into everything!
one in the arms of Jesus
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