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There was a time that I set a strict schedule for school. I am a teacher by trade, so it is in my nature to schedule everything. I scheduled start dates, end dates, days off, and vacation dates. It was great! And then life happened.

What happened next for me was a sinking feeling of failure and guilt. We were BEHIND!!! How many times do I hear that phrase in the homeschool community?!? Living life in a constant state of self-imposed guilt is no way to live, and honestly, if you are feeling it, your kids are probably feeling it, too.
 
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I had the precious opportunity to babysit my almost five-year-old grandson and my 19-month grandson for a week while their parents took a restful and quiet trip together. I had all kinds of ideas about how we spend the days together. I had grand plans of places where we would go and things we would do. We did manage to enjoy a few of those activities, including building a gingerbread house together!
 
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Michigan is a diverse state. You can find everything, from skiing to surfing right here in our beautiful state. Another benefit of living here is that there are no reporting requirements placed on homeschoolers. We are free to educate our children as we see fit, without government oversight.
 
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Words Have Meaning

I have been an avid reader all my life. I was homeschooled through 9th grade, so I had plenty of time to read. My yearly booklists in my portfolio usually had 50-70 books listed, and they were just samplings of what I read because I didn't always remember to write down the title and author before returning books to the library. I read multiple genres. I read books written in different centuries.

 
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When I decided to homeschool, I didn't anticipate my children having any learning challenges. God, in all His divine wisdom, called me to homeschool these kids that would need a different environment for learning than a traditional classroom.
 
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Sometimes in life, you learn something that you weren't really trying to learn.

That would be me . . . senior year of college. I majored in economics until we had our first child mid-year, six weeks early. Then I just majored in mommyhood and made sure I graduated. I ended up in an Adolescent Psychology class because it fit my mommy's schedule.
 
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Have you ever opened a drawer at your child's desk, only to find it was full of jumbled worktext pages from multiple subjects? Or, like me, do you have several children calling at the same time for help locating handouts? Take heart! You're like a lot of other homeschool moms, including me. This simple system may be a big help for you. After ten years of homeschooling, the hanging file system is standing the test of our busy students. I use the hanging files to organize our student handouts, reproducible pages, completed student handouts, worktext, and test pages.
 
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Homeschooling brought me great joy over the years. It was a great bonding experience with my sons. I got to watch them grow both spiritually and academically. However, there were times when I struggled and wanted to throw in the towel. These tips helped me along the way to stay the course and finish strong. My prayer is that they will help you as well.
 
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Ever since the Lord called me to this mission field called homeschooling, I've known that even if it was difficult, it was what we would do. There were days in my early years of homeschooling when I really didn't know how I would give my children the education that my husband and I wanted to give them. I found that I could either be an intentional mom and homemaker or a great teacher for my children. I would go through seasons of doing one or the other really well while my other responsibilities suffered. It was so discouraging. I wish I had known about BJU Press Homeschool video classes from the start.
 
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With Independence Day approaching, we look for exuberant and meaningful ways to celebrate. After all, this day holds great significance in the history of our country!

As I make celebration preparations for July 4th, I reflect upon a few notions in an effort to make Independence Day more purposeful and meaningful yet filled with excitement, wonder, and cheer. These notions involve patriotism, history, and science.

After reviewing these notions, keep reading for 15 fun ideas to help your children understand the depth, breadth, and meaning behind Independence Day. I guarantee you will celebrate with more fervor than ever before!
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