Soak in the Joy!

archeskidsWe just went to Arches National Park for a quick sight-seeing trip. At the last minute, some of our grown kids jumped in too, so our 7 passenger van was full to the brim and scraped bottom if we went over a big bump. What fun we had, singing as we drove along! The joy in each other’s presence was wonderful! The scenery was majestic! All felt right with the world.

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Kids Can’t Spell?


Ammon shows off a big beet he grew

It is an all-too-common problem. Kids can’t spell, teenagers can’t spell, even many adults can’t spell. Thank goodness for spell-check on the computer. It has helped the problem enormously!

Learning to write is pretty important, as we use if daily in our communication. Nothing blows “lookin’ smart” faster than misspelling a common word. It’s like saying “ain’t”—only on paper!

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Self-Sufficient Little Ones


My granddaughter Rebekah (4)

“I want to do it myself!”

Sound familiar?

Starting at about one-and-a-half years old, children yearn to be capable and strongly resist any attempts to do things for them. You can launch your little child into feelings of healthy self-sufficiency and capability by making life a little easier to manage for them. [Read more…]

Teaching Kids to Interrupt Politely

abigail_frowningYep, you read it right. This is a “how-to” for teaching kids to interrupt.

We moms love to talk, and sometimes it is hard to get a word in edgewise. A little guy that has to go to the bathroom needs a polite way to cut into the conversation. Here’s how!

Teach you little ones that when they need to interrupt, they should approach your side (not stand between you and the person you are talking to, but off to the side). Then, without speaking, just put their hand on your forearm and wait silently and patiently. No tapping. This signal tells you that your child needs to speak to you. When you can courteously find a break in the conversation, say “excuse me, please” to the person you are talking to, and turn towards your child. Now (and only now), he can interrupt.

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Gray Hair


Abigail planted a lipstick kiss on Grandaddy’s cheek!

Respect for the aged. It seems to be going extinct these days in America, and yet it makes such a difference in society. It is a basic, important part of training children to teach them to honor those who are older and wiser. Gray hair is a sign of wisdom, and endurance through life’s trials. (That’s why I won’t dye mine!)

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Sweet little Abigail

Sweet little Abigail


I have a progressive illness that keeps me from doing as well in homeschool as I’d like to with my children. The medications I must take make me very sleepy, and I am hospitalized at times. We’ve done school around my bed many days but I am worried that my children are falling behind academically and I feel like I’m slowing sinking. I just feel so far behind, and wonder if I’m doing the right thing to keep them home. [Read more…]

The Trouble With Homeschool


Louisa is enthused about the potter’s wheel!

The trouble with homeschool is that there is no start and no finish, no report cards, no deadlines, no “have to.” Of course, that is one of the advantages, but a time of reckoning is a necessary part of any endeavor, including home education. In the working world, employees are given “quarterly reviews” to assess their progress. How are we assuring progress is made in our children’s learning? Maybe we need to do some measuring.

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Magic Words

Sweet Emily

Sweet Emily

“I’m sorry”
“I did wrong”
“Can you forgive me?”

These words seem to be getting pretty scarce these days!

I think the most important words a mother can say to her children is, “Can you forgive me?” We all make mistakes—parents especially—as the job of raising children is challenging indeed! What a peaceful, loving feeling comes into a home when a parent will admit they’ve been insensitive, impatient, or unfair, and humbly ask their children for forgiveness. It always stuns me how quickly and freely a child will excuse them when parents are actually willing to admit they misjudged. It opens children’s eyes to see Mom as a real person struggling to improve, instead of the “always-right-authority”.

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