A Few of My Favorite Things! Parenting and Homeschooling Resources

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Life is a journey! I see it in everything. We are always learning and growing. Young moms often ask, “How did you raise your children”? The truth is, we all learn as we go along. Along the way I have gleaned from so many resources! You have heard of eclectic homeschooling? Not only is my homeschool style defined as eclectic but my parenting style as well! Today I thought that I would share some resources that have influenced my parenting and homeschool journey.

Training my heart for motherhood

I’m not certain that any of us can claim simply one source for our training. There is a saying, “Everything I learned, I learned from my mother.” But to be really honest, I know that my own education in parenting has had many sources.

One woman who has greatly influenced my motherhood is Nancy Campbell. In the early years of my parenting, I received the Above Rubies magazine which Nancy compiles. As I read the testimonies of various women, a wider view of life took shape. My oldest child was just a few months old when Nancy first published her book, “The Power of Motherhood”. It was life changing. She called it a manual for motherhood and I agree! It was in those pages that I was challenged to not only love my children but to love motherhood! I began to catch the vision of the ministry in my own home and around the world through God’s gift of children.

“The Power of Motherhood” has been recently been updated and reprinted. Make sure you get a copy!

Praying for my children

I have always known that I should pray for my children. I have not always known how to do it! One book that really impacted us and our family is “The Family Blessing” by Rolf Garborg. You can read more about it’s impact on us here in a previous article that I wrote about the legacy of blessing your children. In short, the book will explain what a blessing is and the power behind it. I’ll give you a heads up, it is not just for ancient times but for today! The book is out of print and just in case you need a way to find it, I have chatted with the author and he has given me permission to share his address. He has copies of the book that he would love to get into your hands. So reach out to him at  garborgrolf@gmail.com.

Recently I was introduced to, Legacy of Prayer, A Spiritual Trust Fund for the next Generations by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. Wow! Though barely 100 pages this little book is powerful! If you are just learning how to pray for your children or want to go a little deeper, make sure you check it out! This looks like it may be another out of print book (an oldie but goody!) but you can often find it at Abebooks or Thriftbooks.

Practical celebrations to point my children to Jesus

From the time my children were young I wanted to make every effort to point them to Jesus. A friend had given me “Celebrating the Christian Year” by Martha Zimmerman as a wedding gift. I wanted to be intentional in the ways that we celebrated holidays and this was the perfect guide. Though it is out of print, I have been successful in finding copies on Abebooks.com . Mrs. Zimmerman walks the reader through 20 celebration days looking at the origins and traditions surrounding them. She gives wonderful suggestions and direction on to how to integrate these family celebrations into teachable moments. It’s a lot of fun too!

Understanding my challenging children

A few years ago Sally Clarkson wrote a book with her son Nathan. It was such an encouragement to me! Nathan was a challenging child before the era of naming the issues. Now as an adult Nathan and his mother Sally look back and share their relationship and their memories. If you have a child with a label like ADHD, ADD, OCD, or autism, you will enjoy this book. Our children are not broken, simply different! God has a wonderful plan He is developing and unfolding in them, we just need to discover it! Different is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold (even on audio)!

Homeschooling overview

Awaking Wonder is a book by Sally Clarkson that released in 2020. I was encouraged by this book even though I had been homeschooling for nearly 20 years when it was released. You will be refreshed by this book if you are new to home education or feeling overwhelmed. Sally describes her educational philosophy and the freedom that is found in a lifestyle of learning. Looking back this is much how we have raised and homeschooled our own children.

Lea Ann Garfias has written a comprehensive book about home education, Everything you need to know about homeschooling. In it you will find practical advice and encouragement. The bonus is that you do not have to read this 500+ page book straight through. It will actually be beneficial to just jump to the chapter that feeds your heart or your dilemma at the present time. You will find the information current and relevant because just released in February 2021.

For those who are just starting out and looking for an inexpensive comprehensive Pre-school and Kindergarten curriculum I have just the thing. Early Education at Home by Jean Soyke is my favorite! It was printed in 1992 and is unfortunately out of print. But, I have always been able to purchase additional copies at Abebooks.com and other online used book suppliers. Ms. Soyke uses common household items and a lot of creativity to set forth a full and frugal curriculum.

Now you have your homework!

I hope that this post has been a blessing to you and given you some solid resources to use as you raise your children. Make sure to check out my podcast as well, The Mom Next Door, Stories of Faith. My mother-in-law Louise is my current guest in a parenting series. She is full of wonderful ideas and encouragement!

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

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