Home School Workshops

Read, Read, Read -- Aloud, Aloud, Aloud:

Success in reading is the obvious reason to read aloud.  However, the benefits are so far-reaching you will want out-loud reading to be part of family life, from the womb till your children are grown.  Learn the what, when, where, why, and how of reading aloud.  Enrich your reading time through promoting comprehension and thinking skills, asking the right questions, evaluating literature, and letting literature evaluate you.  Don't let a day go by without reading aloud!

The Four Pillars of Handwriting, Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation:

Is the whole field of English grammar and writing scary, confusing, and frustrating?  Yet these four fundamentals of language form the foundational pillars upon which all other learning is built.  No subjects are more critical, for all other subjects depend on and use these four.  All those rules, part of speech, and sentence functions really can make sense and be systematized!  Here’s help – the what, when, why, and how – for those of us parents who didn’t learn them well our first time around!

Early Foundations for Writing and Reading: Handwriting and Spelling:

Do children really need to learn how to write legibly and spell correctly in our day and age?  With computers and spellcheck, these questions are being asked.  In our country the fundamentals of education have shifted away from legible handwriting and phonics.  Yet nothing is more foundational to all the rest of learning than clear, easy-to-read handwriting and spelling based on phonetic principles.  Using fun, creative pictures and catchy rhymes, spelling and phonics can be a learning delight!

The Framework for Writing:  Grammar and Punctuation:

Is the whole field of English grammar and punctuation scary, confusing, and frustrating?  Yet these fundamentals of language form the framework used in all other learning.  No subjects are more critical, for all other subjects depend on and use these necessary writing skills.  All those rules, part of speech, and sentence functions really can make sense and be systematized!  Here’s help for those of us parents who didn’t learn them well our first time around!

How to Increase Learning by “the Sweetness of the Lips”: 

Wisdom directly from the book of Proverbs instructs us in how to teach our children for maximum learning.  Home educating our own children isn’t easy – even with the best motivations and the greatest desires and intents.  Identify the “little foxes that spoil the vines” of our homes, our schooling, and our relationships; and set a game plan in place for stopping them.

Give Yourself a Break:  You Won’t Do It Perfectly: 

Ever feel like a homeschool mom failure?  Are you having a hard time fitting it all in and keeping up?  Well, welcome to the club!  Most of our sense of failure comes from wrong comparisons and false perceptions.  From a seasoned homeschool mom: insights gleaned over the years, battles fought within and without, and seeming failures turned right-side out.

How to Discern Book, Plays, Movie, etc.: 

In a society of vastly different values – even among the church community – discernment can be a tricky and sticky business.  Whose guidelines should we follow?  The Bible does have answers, but we have to ask the right questions.  This is worth thinking deeply about!

Teaching the Bible:  First Things First

Why do we homeschool?  Is it just to give our children a better education than the public schools?  Is it to keep them away from harmful influences?  These are secondary reasons that won’t even be realized if we don’t put God and His Word first.  The power of the Bible cannot be overstated.  Here's help in making the Bible the cornerstone of your homeschooling efforts, for the Bible itself says:  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."

Home Schooling Means Staying Home

(This could also be titled: Scheduling:  How to Fit It All in…or Not)
(This could be a Q & A with group discussion)

Our culture offers many options.  In an effort to make sure our children are well-rounded with the best education and the most opportunities, we find ourselves running from one activity to the next.  Sometimes in the process we run out of time and energy for important foundational learning.  All our “necessary” running can be a means of avoiding the hard work and discipline required to homeschool.  Here are some practical tips for coming to peace with the 24/7 we've been given.

Reality Check:  Why Are We Doing This??  Discipleship 101

Many of us begin homeschooling as a means of discipling our children, but then the realities of life and all the subjects that have to be kept up with sabotage our best intentions.  How do we reclaim this greatest of all family goals?  And how do we tangibly keep it front and center on a day-to-day basis?  These and other important discipleship questions will be discussed as well as discipleship components and practical family discipleship ideas.

Finding God in All Subjects:  Imparting a Love for Knowledge

Love for God and love for knowledge are not incompatible, though secular science and even some Christian circles would claim that they are.  Proverbs has much to say about the wisdom of acquiring knowledge.  Because we believe that God has created all things, every pursuit of knowledge is a pursuit of God -- whether history, mathematics, science, music, the language arts, or . . . -- and can, therefore, lead to a more profound worship of His genius, wisdom, and creativity.  Fill your children with the wonder of God as you study!

Fitting the Bible and Prayer into the Cracks of Your Life:  How to Meet with God When Life Is Over-Full

Life as a homeschool family is full to overflowing -- especially with little ones in diapers and other children in school.  How can we also find personal time for God in the midst of all the have-to responsibilities?  Sometimes quiet time alone with God seems like another burden added to an already burdensome day.  Come refresh your perspective on why time with God is not just another obligation and how small, unused moments can steadily infuse your heart with His Life and Fullness.

Cultivating Gratitude:  Be Thankful for the Little Things

The many pressures of home education can feel overwhelming and burdensome.  We just need to get things done!  And life is full of hurry!  Purposely slow the pace and take the pressure off with a grateful heart.  We are so blessed to have the privilege to homeschool!  But we are each also blessed with unique struggles.  Explore the profound, life-changing theology of gratitude.  Let us begin to count our many blessings, including those hidden in the trials of life.

Making Meals Ahead and Other Homeschool Time-Savers

Does life feel rushed?  Are you always scrambling at the end of a long day, staring frantically in the fridge, wondering what to throw together for supper to feed your tribe?  Here's help!  With some ahead preparation and a few easy planning tips, peace can be restored to the mealtime frenzy.  Also learn to make mealtime prep perform double duty.  Some how-to's of scheduling and planning, setting priorities, and dealing with interruptions will be shared.

Modesty and All Things Moral

Christian standards run a full gamut of ideas and convictions.  Why?  Has the Bible spoken about these issues?  What should we teach our children?  And how do we inculcate convictions in their lives?  Yet along with convictions that govern our lives can come judgment of others and personal pride.  This kind of "holiness" without humility and grace is unholy.

The Feasts of the Lord:  How the Old Testament Feasts Reveal Christ

Though the feasts of the Old Testament were given to the people of Israel after the Exodus, they were not Jewish feasts, but rather the Feasts of the LORD.  The timing of the feasts is very specific and the fulfillment of the feasts is also specific.  Each one finds its prophetic fulfillment in Christ.  As we study the feasts, we learn more of Christ and God's eternal plan.

Old Testament Types and Shadows:  Walking the Emmaus Road with Jesus.

“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”(Luke 24:27)  The Old Testament is full of prophetic foreshadows of Christ.  Give your children the wonder of seeing the imprint of Christ woven throughout the Old Testament.  History truly is HIS Story!

Remember:  Your Children Are Becoming; So Is Your Husband…And So Are You

It is easy for moms to become weary, even exasperated, with the slow work of child discipline.  Take a step back and view the process.  Are you demanding or expecting more of others and of yourself than God does?  Look again at the demands of Christ upon us in conjunction with the attitudes of Christ toward us.  Biblical metaphors also give us insights that help to adjust our perspective.

Seeing All Subjects Through the Lens of Scripture

Scripture provides the foundation for our worldview, not only guiding us in how to think about the issues we face, but also training our character.  Our faith in the truth of the Bible determines our responses and our decision-making in every area of life, from how we respond to circumstances to how we build relationships.  Genesis alone has a multiplicity of doctrines that affects all areas of thought and practice.  Our choice of curricula should be based on biblical integration and relevance.

How Does Hubby Fit into This World of Homeschooling?

In most homeschool families, Dad works all day and Mom is left with the bulk of the homeschooling burden.  With this scenario, how can a wife still let her husband lead and keep him connected?  How can an overwhelmed mom keep a proper perspective and use homeschooling to build herself and her marriage?

He Made the Stars Also

(Alternate title:  The Stars:  His Story Reflecting His Glory):

Have you ever felt confused about the zodiac?  Is it all just a part of astrology?  Or could God have written His own story there?  Come explore the fascinating realm of the stars.  Learn the principles and terminology of beginning astronomy, and discover how God uses the stars to communicate His truth and His glory.

Family Traditions that Teach and Build Bonding Memories

Each family will have its own flavor and special memories.  Establishing traditions help to create a unique bond and family culture.  New traditions can be started any time!  Use holidays, family interests, outings, travel, and even daily activities to build your own family legacy.

Write Yourself into the Biblical Narrative

Too often Bible stories we've known from childhood become so familiar that we lose a sense of their wonder.  The real people of the Bible seem remote and even fantasy-like.  But the Bible gives us amazing opportunities to bring history, research, writing, thoughtful meditation, and spiritual understanding together.  Help your children activate their creative imagination by writing themselves into the real space-time events of the Bible.

Prayer:  The Undergirding Support of Our Homeschooling Efforts

We rush through our days, we do our best, yet still our attempts fall short.  So we try harder.  We presume that God will bless our efforts because we're doing it "for Him"; but we have forgotten that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."   Let us return to humbly applying to Him for His aid.  Only He can change the heart, and it is a heart change that our children need.