Goal Setting for Homeschool Moms

Home organization, Keeping My Home, Parenting No Comments

In my recent post, I discussed the importance of goal setting as a Mom.  Without a vision, the people perish.  This includes stay at home moms and especially homeschool moms.

What’s your vision for your family?

Where do you start in setting goals to accomplish that vision?

1.  Write down your vision.

Decide what you really want to do or what you want to do as you raise your children to be Godly leaders.  These are life goals for you and your children.  This is your overall vision.  For our family, an overarching vision was to raise children who could think Biblically & critically.

Set Goals

2.  List short term and long term goals necessary for you need to achieve lifetime goals.

Our family chose subject activities to encourage critical & Biblical decision making.  This included choosing formal school subjects, as well as having in depth discussions at our dinner table.

3.  Break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete.

What do you want to accomplish this year?  this month?

Look at where you are as a family right now as you decide these manageable goals.

Our short term goals included one topic each week for dinner discussions.  We also had to make a point to eat dinner together.  We were all on board so we ate at a variety of times ranging from 5:30 to 9pm.

4.  Write down daily activities so you can achieve your goals. 

It is imperative that you write down your goal.

I have a small notepad next to my Bible.  When I read my Bible each morning, I write down any idea that pops into my head.  This keeps me focused on my Bible reading, without forgetting ideas I have.  During my prayer time, I can pray about any ideas I’ve written down.

5.  Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

At breakfast, I re-read my list and put times/priorities on my list so I stay focus on what is most important for that day . . . after praying about my list.

These are just a few ideas I use when setting goals.  Each year you can re-evaluate last year’s goals as you set goals for the upcoming year.

Advent: When your kids ask, “What is Christmas?”

Christmas, Inspire You Children, Parenting No Comments

When my children were little, I remember long days, full of diverse conversations. Invariably, mixed in with all the questions about food, friends, and fun, there were a few serious questions, especially during the holiday seasons. One of my favorite questions was related to Christmas. My children, usually around age three or four, would ask me, “Mommy, what is Christmas?”

what is Christmas

Such a great question, and one that I loved to answer.

Because for me, Christmas is not just about exchanging of gifts or eating wonderfully homemade meals, but Christmas is really about the celebration of hope, love, truth, and peace. The traditional noble ideas of Advent.

To answer such a great question, I usually took my children to the Scripture. We would turn to Luke 2 and begin to read the account of Jesus birth. While there, we would focus on each person involved and really discuss what each one must have been thinking or feeling.

We began with Mary, the mother of Jesus. She recognizes the reference to the Davidic promises, and to the virgin birth spoken of in Isaiah. And she knows that this is the promised One, the Messiah who will reconcile all things. And so her heart worships, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit is rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has regarded the lowly estate of his maidservant. And behold all generations henceforth shall call me blessed, for he is mighty who has done great things for me and holy is his name.”

And then Mary keys in on the promises of Isaiah. Those are not lost on her as well. “His mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, exalted the lonely, filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he sent away empty. And he has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy. As he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his seed forever.” Mary understands all the clues. She has put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

We then talked about the shepherds who saw angels for the first time in their lives. These angels tell them good tidings of great joy. Their savior has been born in the city of David.

We would marvel at how the shepherds know exactly where to go. They go straight to Bethlehem. How did they know that? Their fathers and grandfathers have passed down the clues to them.

Then a man who has waited all his life for the consolation of Israel and was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ, this man Simeon actually gets to hold in his arms his own God and Redeemer.

Simeon knows what this means for the world. Simeon says this child will be the light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel.

And of course, there is Anna, Joseph, the magi, and so many more. It really is true that the story of Jesus’ coming and birth is full of wonder and awe. So the next time a little person, whether a child, grandchild, neighbor, friend, or Sunday school student asks you, “What is Christmas?”, take them to the Scripture. Fill their little hearts with truth that is eternal and evokes amazement and joy.

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Copyright Kerry Beck, 2010

You have permission to reprint this article as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.

Kerry Beck gives free advent calendars with daily Christmas activities to prepare your family for Christmas. Pick up a FREE Advent Calendar at  http://www.ChristmasCelebrationIdeas.com.

 

Thanksgiving: In Time for the Holidays

Marriage, Moms, Parenting, thanksgiving No Comments

Tristie Fisher shares what you & I need to hear about BEFORE the holidays…FORGIVENESS!  This is extremely convicting and ENCOURAGING as you prepare for the holidays, specifically Thanksgiving!

It’s worth your 10 minutes to watch this video on facebook…
Forgiveness (On facebook)

Or read about forgiveness on her blog
Forgiveness on Tristie’s blog

There is so much stress during the holidays that it is imperative you forgive QUICKLY!

Christian Parenting: House Rules & God’s Rules

Parenting No Comments

The past few months our Sunday School has discussed Christian parenting topics.  We are working through Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel.  I plan to write a review of the book when we finish.  In the meantime, I’d like to share some ideas Steve & I have discussed about Christian parenting.

The first concept is one Steve has shared with many dads over the past several years…House Rules & God’s Rules.

As our children were growing up, we wanted to teach our children the difference between our rules and God’s rules.  So, we began to have house rules.

What’s the difference between house rules and God’s rules?

God’s rules come straight from the Bible.  God’s rules are straightforward.  For  our family, the following rules from Scripture cover a “multitude of sins”.  These rules also receive automatic spankings.

1.  Disobedience – Enough said :-)   (Ephesians 6:1)
2.  Disrespect for authority – Especially disrespect of Mom (Deuteronomy 5:16)
3.  Dishonesty – Lying was never tolerated (Ephesians 4:25)

Although these 3 rules were enforced as God’s rules, we did not come up with the alliteration.  That honor goes to our friends, Kevin & Garret Jackson.  When you make it simple by having only 3 rules, your kids can follow along.

Another of God’s rules that we taught was “Be kind to your brother and sister … & anyone else in your home.” ( Ephesians 4:32)

What about house rules?

How do you decide what your house rules will be?

We believe our house rules are concepts that we take from Scripture, but aren’t specifically black & white.  God doesn’t come out and directly say you should do these things, but they are good to do as Christian parents.  In other words, use the grid of Scripture to determine your house rules.  Here are a few of ours as our kids were growing up.

1.  Eat dinner as a family (Hebrews 10:25)
I’ve written about the importance of the family meal in other blog posts.  God tells us we should fellowship with other believers and that includes our own family.

Spending time at the dinner table offers so many opportunities to parent.  Not just teaching table manners, but learning to communicate well, learning to be kind to your siblings, learning to be patient, and much more.

2.  LImited amount of TV  (Philippians 4:8)
We didn’t have computers & internet when our kids were younger.  Nor, did we have video games.  I would put all of those in this rule.  God wants us to put pure, honorable, and virtuous concepts into our minds.

3.  Help around our home in a cheerful manner (Colossians 3:23-24)
We wanted our children to grow up with a strong work ethic and believe that God wants them to work cheerfully each day.  At a young age, our children started setting the table and clearing the table.  They learned to make their bed and pick up toys.  As they got older, they helped do the laundry, the dishes, vacuum, clean bathrooms and garden.

4.  Finish what you start  (Matthew 25:21, I Corinthians 1:9)
God is faithful to us, so we should be faithful to others.  This includes our commitments in activities.  Our children were limited in the number of activities they could participate.  When they chose an activity, we wanted them to be faithful to their commitment and finish strong.

Our house rules were not items for which we would discipline, but guidelines of how our house is run.  God’s rules were opportunities for deeper training & discipline.  When your children understand the difference between house rules and God’s rules, they grow in understanding God.

What are your house rules?
Which of God’s rules are taught in your home?

Please post a comment and share.

Summer Activities – Wet ‘n Wild Time!

activities, Parenting No Comments

It’s hot! So let’s beat the summer heat and let the kids cool off with a fun sprinkler party! It’s fun, inexpensive and always a blast. Ask neighbors, friends and relatives to bring different kinds of sprinklers, water guns and slides, and fill up water balloons. It’s a great way to keep the kids cool and entertained.

Did you hear this?

Mentoring, Parenting, Seminars-Webinars No Comments

I am so excited about our new Free Homeschool Webinar series.  Here’s the feedback we got:

I appreciated the emphasis on mastery of skills. Of course, I want my teens to master driving, not just pass a list of minimum requirements!
Lisa Clark

Alot of useful information… We need to train right the first time.
Kari Durfee

An excellent way to teach a teen to be aware of what they’re doing when they are driving.
Marta Klass

Patrick Barrett gave a wealth of information on Thursday.  He shared specific tips & strategies you could implement today.  If you want to be notified of our April Free Homeschool Webinar, here’s where you can sign up:

 

Wednesday Words: 365 Thank You’s

Inspire You Children, Leaving a Legacy, Parenting 1 Comment

I just finished reading a book called 365 Thank You’s.  The author decided to write 365 thank you notes in a year to change his attitude.  He felt like his world was falling apart and thought the act of thanking others would change his outlook.  It was a quick & easy read that tells the author’s story for that year.  He includes copies of some thank you cards he wrote.

Once I began reading this book, I decided to take his challenge and write 365 thank yous this year.  I started on February 25 and have written 42 thank you cards since then.

If my kids were still at home, I’d use this as a writing activity in school.  Depending on their age, I would probably have them write 1-3 thank you’s each week.  This can help them keep their focus off themselves and look for others to thank.

Do your kids automatically say thank you around your home?

I discovered that my kids do say “thanks”.  I think their “thank yous” come from 2 sources.  Obvious and foremost, by God’s grace they are saying thank you to others.  Secondly, we thanked our kids continuously when they helped around our home.  It might be as simple as thanking them for bringing their plates back from the table. Even though it was expected of them, we still said thanks.  Or, when they finished a chore, I would tell them thanks.

My 18 yo son still says thank you for breakfast each morning as he leaves for his classes.  I don’t say this to brag but to remind all of us how important our words are & how God graciously raises our children to thankful adults.

Will you “say” thanks to your family this week?

Who will you send a card of thanks?

What will you be thankful for?

Wednesday Words: Family Dinners-Taco Tuesdays

Keeping My Home, Parenting, Quick & Easy Meals, tuesday tips 3 Comments

After I wrote my post about the importance of family dinners, I came across a new book at the library called, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time, by Laurie David. I checked it out and read the first few pages.  I knew I needed my own copy.  The next week, my oldest daughter and son-in-law gave me the book for my birthday.  It has some great ideas that are simple to implement.  I’ll be sharing a few of those ideas here on my blog.

Laurie David, author of Family Dinner, explains their Taco Tuesday nights.  Everyone is expected to be home for dinner on Tuesday nights.  Taco Tuesdays began when their family invited friends for dinner.  Everyone loved it so much, they decided to continue to eat with their family friend and cook tacos.

I love Taco Tuesday idea for a couple of reasons:

1.  Tacos are so easy to prepare that even preschoolers can help.  Preschoolers could put the grated cheese in bowls or dump tortilla chips into baskets.  The main ingredient to cook is the meat.  We usually use ground beef, but you can be creative and use shredded chicken if you like.  Or, you can buy the pre-cooked fajita meat and reheat.  All you add are toppings, such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, sour cream, guacamole – whatever your family enjoys.

2.  Taco Tuesday every week means one less meal you have to plan.  Do your kids ever finish breakfast and ask “what’s for lunch?”  Or finish lunch and ask “what’s for dinner?”  Some weeks I don’t get my meals planned like I should so I’m skimming recipe books at 5pm trying to decide what I should cook.  With Taco Tuesday, I don’t have to worry about what we will eat for supper.  It’s already planned.

3.  Having the same meal every week creates a tradition and develops a memory for your family to have in the future.  I still remember having tacos or hamburgers almost every weekend growing up.  Maybe that’s why tacos are so easy for me to make.  I helped my Mom cook the meat and prepare the toppings almost every week for many years.

If tacos aren’t your thing, choose a simple meal on which you can build a tradition and memory.  If you have any similar ideas, please post a comment and share them with everyone.

 

Wednesday Words: Are You Eating Meals with Other Families?

Inspire You Children, Keeping My Home, Moms, Parenting No Comments

Last time, I encouraged you to eat meals together as a family.  Family meals are essential in raising your children.  Family meals help you slow down and enjoy what is most important during this season of your life:  your children.  If you don’t spend time with them now, they will be gone before you know it.

Not only should you spend time together as a family, Scripture tells us to spend time in each others’ homes.

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:46-47

In Acts 2, we are reminded of the importance of breaking bread together, sharing meals with other believers.  There are several ideas to note.  Eating a meal with other believers brings gladness. When we have friends over for dinner, there is a special feeling of satisfaction when they leave.  Not only did we enjoy food, we enjoy conversation.  We are encouraged, relaxed and exhorted at times.

Are you eating meals with other Christian families?

Next, your meals do not need to be elaborate.  Luke reminds us that these meals were eaten with gladness and simplicity. Most moms feel like they need to create a gourmet meal.  This is not true!  Some of the easiest and simplest meals will satisfy everyone.  Here are some easy meals you can make.

Crockpot Chicken
Crockpot Roast – Beef or Pork, both are delicious
Chili
Burgers or Grilled Chicken (in the summertime)

Find recipes that you like AND are easy for you.  I like to include my kids when I’m getting ready for guests.  Depending on their age, they can help you alot.  A few things I’ve had my kids do to help are:

Bake dessert
Set the table
Cut flowers from the yard for the center of the table (a centerpiece is not mandatory, but young kids like to cut flowers)
Clean the bathroom
Vacuum
Wipe down the kitchen counters

Finally, I’d like to suggest the meal Luke is mentioning in Acts 2 takes place in your home, not a restaurant. It is lots of fun to go out to eat.  However, there is a special atmosphere at home that is not found in a restaurant.  Friends let their guard down at the dinner table.  Kids can go play after the meal, allowing parents to visit among themselves.  When eating at the dinner table, we linger and talk about God’s work in our lives.

Are you inviting other Christian families to your home for a meal?

If not, take a few minutes and make a list of 5 families in which you would like to spend more time.  Invite one family each month until summer.  If you don’t schedule it, you probably won’t do it.  Plan and schedule it now.  Invite each family at the beginning of the month.  You will have an impact on your own family, as well as many other families.

One Thing You Can Do to Make 2011 Successful

Bible, Moms, Parenting 7 Comments

I I Normally I post an article on Wednesdays, but this couldn’t wait :-)

Yesterday at church we sang several songs with the phrase “one thing I ask/seek”.  I was immediately reminded of Psalm 27 and read it during the offertory.  To my delight, our sermon was about Psalm 27, the one thing we should be doing in 2011 to be successful.

“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”
Psalm 27:4

When I was in college a good friend of mine shared this verse with me.  I can still picture our conversation.  We discussed how there is only one thing we need to do in following God and in being successful.  Too often, we make a list of many things we need to do in our walk with God, but let’s talk about the “one thing”.

David tells God the one thing he desires is to dwell with his Lord all the days of his life.  I don’t think this is talking about dwelling in a physical house together.  David wants to communicate with God, have a relationship with Him throughout his entire life.  That’s the one thing he desires, he yearns for:  a steady relationship with His Lord.

Likewise, the “one thing” you should desire is to dwell with God forever.  This means you have a daily, moment-by-moment relationship with God.  You communicate with Him and He communicates with you.  You go to Him in times of trouble, as well as times of abundance.  He helps you through your troubles and rejoices with you in your abundance as you raise your children in 2011.

“For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:5

As parents dwell with God, you enjoy 2 fantastic results.  First, you “behold the beauty of the Lord”.  You are in awe of God Himself, as well as His creation.  As you spend time with your Lord, your eyes open to all He does for you.

When you behold His beauty, you are modeling for your children.  Talk to your children about God’s beauty.  Let them see where your focus starts.

As David shared, you see the Lord as your light, your salvation, and your strength.  There is no one to fear; no one to be afraid.  Your Lord is there for you ALWAYS!  Even in 2011 when times might get tough, the Lord will be your light and guide you in His perfect will.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

In addition to beholding God’s beauty as you dwell with Him, you are able to “inquire in His temple”.  When you have a relationship with God, you are able to seek God for His wisdom.  You don’t need to go before a priest or some other religious leader, you can go directly to God Himself.  He will lighten the path of your life in 2011.  He will give you “His” success.

Again, let your children see you turning to God for wisdom.  Let them hear you pray for guidance in situations that arise.  Let them see you center your thoughts on God first.

The “one thing” you should focus on in 2011 is dwelling with your Lord.  Spend time with Him.  Listen to Him. Talk to Him.  He will be your light this year in times of need & in times of satisfaction.

NOTE:  I’d love to hear your feedback.  Please post a comment!

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© Kerry Beck, 2011
You have permission to reprint this article, as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.
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Kerry Beck wants to give you a free seasonal tips & tricks, along with Christian Homeschool & Parenting. Solutions.  You can get these free at www.CurriculumConnection.net/blog.

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