The Magic of Morning & Evening Routines

My bedroom was a wreck. Again. I might make my bed consistently, but I just can’t keep my room clean. Maybe I should not sigh so much at the children’s bedrooms. Usually, when faced with this situation, I set aside a morning or an afternoon and dig in. I take care of everything and get the room back in order. Then, inevitably, begins the slide all over again. But this time was different. I did not finish the “clean the … Read More

What hospitality taught me about homemaking

Pull out the glasses, set the table, time to get ready for company. Ever noticed that funny feeling where you turn on a different persona, a different ability to handle life, at least momentarily, when you open the door or answer the phone? It shows us our actual ability to exhibit self-control. Too often, our tone and tactics with our kids do not. When we jump on them, pester and harp, then switch it off immediately if someone walks in … Read More

Homeschooling High School: Align Your Expectations

So we’ve successfully finished our first year of homeschooling high school. In many ways it was not different; we just took the next step. We didn’t drastically change anything about the workload or the process or the system. His level of work did increase, but it was simply another incremental increase in work of the same kind, not a completely different experience. I had planned to share 3 tips for homeschooling high school, but before I do that I thought … Read More

How to find rest as a mom at home

We’ve all felt the exhaustion, the overwhelming sense of vague failure or defeat, the frustration of feeling like our goals are impossible. Maybe some women out there can manage, but we aren’t and cannot be. We need rest. We know we need rest. But we aren’t sure how. The only kind of rest we can even think of is a “turn it all off” sort of rest. Go away. Escape. Shut down. Stop the madness. And that’s pretty much impossible. … Read More

It takes work to rest.

I remember being so weary, so tired. There was so much to do. So much to do, in fact, that it seemed a monumental task just to decide what to do. My fatigue was compounded by the fact that most of my “so much to do” was made of small, menial, basic tasks. There were dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor, laundry everywhere. There were meals to make, which would mean more kitchen clean-up and more dishes – … Read More

How to be more organized: 3 tools you must have

Being organized seems like an elusive goal. When do you know if you’ve reached this state of bliss?  For some of us, being organized feels like a moving target. We’re almost there, we think, then something changes and we’ve slid back down onto the mire.  Honestly, I have not arrived at some final destination known as being organized. I know I could always be more organized than I am. Sometimes I am organized. Sometimes I am not.  But rather than … Read More

What do I do when my kid complains?

It will happen. “I hate this book!”

 “Do we have to do Morning Time?” “There’s no point in learning algebra!” When it happens, you have not failed. Pick up your shield of imperviousness, homeschool mama; these complaints are not about you. They are not even about what you are studying. They are growing pains. Learning is growing, and when it’s happening, there are times it is uncomfortable, difficult, or tense. Of course, that doesn’t make it ok. Truth: Complaining, grumbling, … Read More

Secrets That Save the Day When Dad Works from Home

posted in: homemaker, mother | 7

My husband has worked from home for over 5 years now. The novelty has worn off and we’ve established our patterns. We’ve been married for over 17 years and get along quite well. We are, for the most part, on the same wavelength, and understand each other’s mindset, manner, and methods. We can (and do) tease each other, and we naturally pull together to accomplish desired ends (both being IxTJ personalities helps). So working from home was a smooth transition … Read More

What a marriage book taught me about parenting teens

posted in: convicting, mother | 4

I picked up John Gottman’s The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work after years of curiosity. I had heard about his “love lab” several times over the years, first in a Malcolm Gladwell book, and I was intrigued with the notion that he claimed to be able to predict divorce with surprising accuracy after a few minutes’ observation. Now, I’m not concerned about my own marriage, but I have seen divorces happen and wondered, “When did the slide begin? Did … Read More

The Importance of Monday Meetings

Monday meetings have been a staple in our homeschool routine for a couple years now. We started when my oldest began seventh grade. At that point, I wanted him to have more independence in his work – not in choosing what, but in choosing when. Sometimes Monday meetings has been when I’ve gone over all the previous week’s work (except for math, which is corrected daily) before assigning the next week. Sometimes Monday meetings will be a calendar-review time, because … Read More

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