I just wanted to share something that encouraged my heart this week. It’s specifically a homeschooling thing, but if you are creative you could use this for any family.
This is from a group I am a member of. It is called “Read Aloud Revival”, by Sarah Mackenzie. I did this activity this week and I really liked how it gets you to create a vision for your homeschooling.
The activity was to ask yourself the question: “Imagine in 20 years, a friend of your child asks them what it was like to be homeschooled. How would you like them to respond?”
If you aren’t a homeschooling family, but have children, you could rephrase the question to something like: “In 20 years from now, if a friend asks your child what their upbringing was like, how would you like them to respond?”
The next question was: “One year from now, what do you hope your children will say was the highlight of their homeschooling year?
Again, you can rephrase this question to suit your own family- even if you have grown up children or are a single couple. Every family or individual needs a vision or dream. Something to work towards. 😊
From these answers, you create a “Rule of six”. 6 things you want to do throughout the year or week to help you focus on what is valuable to you. Here is mine:
As a homeschooling mum, I need a physical reminder to help me focus on the joy of motherhood. The joy of learning in various ways. Not just bookwork and worksheets, but life learning and character development. I want to value things like faith and courage. Hard work and laughter. There is more to life and home education than math and history. So I need to take a moment occasionally to remind myself of the joy of raising my little family.
Hopefully this may encourage you too. Love always kelly xx
It’s Friday! Woo hoo.😄 It has been a very full week.
As a parent, there really are no weekends or weekdays usually. 😆 Sleep-ins do not exist at this stage, and your children still require a constant flow of snacks to be provided. Parents are still on active duty as a referee: judging the arguements between siblings.
Can you relate? Have you raised little ones? I’m sure most of you can empathise, or at least giggle in agreement! Parenthood is a gift, but also not for the faint hearted. (Or should I say anyone who requires 8 hours sleep. 😆)
No- weekends do not really exist for parents of little ones. Especially if you are a parent who is home all week with your “darlings”. I’m not trying to say they aren’t darlings- but that is literally what my children call all children. It’s the sweetest thing, actually! My daughter Lylah started it in our home, and now it’s what we say when referring to any child. For example: “Mum, does that lady have any darlings?”(meaning: Does she have any children? 💜)
Anyway- I’m getting off topic!
Now that I am a homeschooling mum, I do actually look forward to the weekend! Homeschooling is finished for 2 whole days!!!!! 🎉🎉🎈🎈 woo hoo!
Technically, I could say as a homeschooling mum that the “learning never stops”. This is a true statement, however, I am not on active “teacher” mode. No bookwork required. Reading is for fun, not a requirement. And my husband is home!!!!!!!!! Backup is here!!! 😆😆😆
This week has been a very mixed experience between joyful experiences and exhausting days! A few of the days I begged Will (my amazing husband) to pray for me to have enough strength to get through the day! Prayer is always a good place to start when homeschooling! 💕
Lack of sleep was another challenge this week. Our 1.5 year old daughter Haven was waking up nearly hourly most nights. We have recently just transferred her into a cot (rather than next to me in the bed) and the poor little bubba experienced a few cold nights without my body heat to warm her. We had the heater on for her in our room, but she still seemed too cold. We finally hunted for a winter baby sleeping bag to keep her extra cozy during the night. So we are hoping that tonight we will all get enough sleep!
Side note: If the cheeky monkey hadn’t of kept ninja kicking me in the head each night, we could still be sleeping side by side till this day. No matter how much I love snuggling Haven, there is a limit to the number of times I can be physically attacked by my toddler during the night! 😂😂😂
It has been a full week. We enjoyed a few play dates with friends, and read lots of sweet books. We learnt perseverance, and did the requirements of the week. Even when it felt really hard.
So, it was a typical family week. Full of highlights and lowlights. The girls (well, my two oldest girls) began gymnastics. That was exciting. We got to go to mainly music! Mainly music is lots of fun for my girls, and refreshing for me!
The lowlights were mostly lack of sleep. Even my mum’s dog Rosie (who’s an old woman in doggy years!) Did whatever she could to prevent us sleeping at night! Snoring and making loud noises all night. 😣😣😣
And now, the week is over. It is time for bed. A new week will begin next week. And I will celebrate being 12 weeks pregnant in the middle of the week!
Each baby is a gift. Although our days our full, as the saying goes: so are our hearts! 😍😚
I pray that you will have a refreshing weekend, whether you are working or enjoying some time off of your normal duties.
I pray that if you are a parent, that you will enjoy a weekend spent together with your children. Whatever that looks like with your own little family.
This may be a silly thing to write a blog about, but I have discovered a hidden perk of homeschooling!!!! The perk is that it has re-awakened my love of books. 😊
As I begun planning my homeschooling journey, I read lots of blogs and watched lots of homeschooling YouTube videos. If you search for homeschooling styles, Charlotte Mason comes up fairly quickly. I still don’t know much about her, however I did learn that she loved something called “Living books”. Basically, books that draw you in and engage the reader and teach you about various topics.
I didn’t think much about books, instead I was more naturally drawn to curriculum and workbooks. I like my girls to complete workbooks, and it is an easy way to feel like I have done a good job in making sure they know enough. The catch is- it robs me (& possibly them) of joy.
That’s when I experienced my first win: Sonlight curriculum. Someone recommended “Sonlight” to me. It is mostly a book based Christian homeschool company. You purchase the pack that suits your children and receive a box of books for the year. Our family fell in love with the rich variety of books and novels they provide for each age group. (Our girls use the age 5-7 pack currently) The books teach us about other times and places, and cause my girls to think and ask questions.
The bonus is that my 4 year old is also listening to these books, and enjoying our read aloud times together. It is a time efficient means of learning aswell, as both my girls are learning and loving books at the same time.
The thing is, I had lost the desire to read to my girls. The books I was reading to them were boring children’s books. Some weren’t boring exactly, but maybe lacked any real depth. I would finish the books with the same “meh” feeling as I would after watching an average children’s cartoon episode. You know, Peppa Pig is lots of fun- but not mentally stimulating or heart warming.
The next part of my falling in love with reading GOOD books to my children happened while following a homeschool mother on her YouTube channel. The books she highlighted seemed fascinating! “How did she discover that book?”, I often wondered? The stories she recommended were so interesting and engaging that I couldn’t wait to buy them for our family! I wanted more book recommendations! I wanted to share these books with my girls and see how they cultivated empathy and compassion for others. I felt excited about them learning from books for the first time. I was hooked!
Having said all this, I was still telling myself that great quality curriculum was my emphasis. I have lots of good resources and materials, which continues to grow. My girls do daily maths and language arts and all those other parts that need to be fulfilled. We write letters and cook etc. Registered homeschooling families must be able to fulfil certain criteria, and evidence of our progress is important.
Back to my reading passion! Over this past weekend, I discovered another encouraging resource called “Read- Aloud Revival”. One of my friends called Katy introduced me to a homeschooling book called “Teaching from Rest” by Sarah Mackenzie. Read Aloud Revival is Sarah Mackenzie’s website or business I guess.
I took the leap of faith and subscribed to the monthly payment to be a member and have full access to their membership. It has encouraging videos and homeschooling tips. There are lots of podcasts and interviews with authors and illustrators of suggested books. The best bit for me is the recommendations they provide for books to read to your kids. You are asked a few questions and what style of books you like, and the age ranges you are targeting/catering for- and then about 3 suggestions come up each time. The community forum they have is great too, as it’s a page full of homeschooling parents who can share what books their family has loved.
Anyway, all of this may not be relevant to you. 😂 But I think the world should know: “There are some great books to read to your children!!!” Great books that make me feel happy. Books that I look forward to reading to them. In fact, reading aloud to my girls, and providing books that they can read themselves is the highlight and hidden perk of my homeschooling so far!
Even if we ever decide to stop homeschooling our children, reading interesting books to them will remain. I want my girls to say one day: “My childhood was filled with so many interesting books!” Or “I learnt to love reading because of the engaging books that we were read”.
Adults and children: There are so many hidden gems of books that have been written! Find them. Read them! Let books become the highlight of your day. 😉
Psalm 32:8 “The Lord says: I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, I will advise you and watch over you.”
Hello! Firstly, I want to welcome you. 😊 It has been forever since I’ve written any posts. At first, I guess I was busy. The world felt like it was shifting so much since the outbreak of Covid19/coronavirus.
Then after having such a long break from writing a blog, I guess I was waiting to have “something worth writing about” 😆.
And actually- I do have something to share!
We are now homeschooling.
I’ll let that sink in. 😄
I think I mentioned at some point earlier this year that I wanted to homeschool? The idea is terrifying, if I’m being honest.😆😊
I have 2 school aged children currently and a 4 year old who likes to learn Preschool (Kindy) things. 💜💜💜💜
However, I don’t want to let fear or sheer terror be the reason that I don’t try things in my life. I want to take leaps of faith and be able to tell others how God helped us do impossible things. The Bible says that God has not given me a spirit of fear: so fear isn’t going to be enough to hold me back!
For those who don’t know me personally, my name is Kelly. I have an incredible husband called William, and we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in February. We have been blessed with 4 daughters (aged from 7 years down to 1.5 years old) And……we recently found out we are expecting baby #5!!!!!!! Woo hoo! I am 10 weeks pregnant 😄 and extremely grateful for another gift to add to our family.
I guess the biggest struggle with wanting to homeschool my girls, is that it is easy to be filled with self doubt.
“HOW can I teach my children? I am not a qualified teacher!”
“What if I don’t educate them well enough, and they fall behind the national standards?”
“How can I juggle my role as a mother and a homeschool teacher?” And the thoughts and concerns go on and on….
If you are reading this, and have a corncern about homeschooling- I bet I’ve either thought it or been asked it.
Number 1 question: “What about socialisation?”
Don’t worry, Alice Springs feels like the capital of homeschooling.😊 My girls have lots of friends and opportunities to enjoy playdates and outings. This is not just an important aspect for their development, but for my wellbeing as a mother too. 😗
Here’s what gives me encouragement and hope in my homeschooling journey: that God’s grace is sufficient for me.
God isn’t just my saviour, He is called “The Good Shepherd”. He is MY shepherd. Psalm 23 is so comforting. The words “He leads me besides still waters”, “He restores my soul” and “He is with me” are like an anchor on the weary days. God will make me lie down in green pastures (we don’t have many green pastures in Alice Springs 😂😂😂) God will teach me and guide me, and hopefully put many homeschooling veterans in my life.
I am also so grateful for the women in my life who pray for me! I have some of the best friends in the world! I am overwhelmed by the love I feel when a friend sends me a message and tells me that they have been praying for me. Prayer is the BEST gift!
There is also a powerful Christian song that is popular right now called “The Blessing” . It reminds me over and over that God is with me, and He is for me. Homeschooling and parenting is hard, but I know that I am not on my own. In my own strength, I would potentially crumple under the pressure. With God leading me, I have the best support I could imagine.
Psalm 27:11 says: “Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path.”
So- I move forward! I pray that God will enable me to raise my children well, and for his glory. I pray that I will pay attention to where God is leading our family: each day and each season.
Above all, I give God my heart and my Praise. I give Him my “Yes” and ask him to help me overcome my fears and doubts.
Whatever you are going through in this time of your life, I pray that you will know God as your Saviour. I pray that you will experience the Peace of God. If you are weary and broken, that you will feel His comfort. I pray that you will trust in God to lead you each day. That you can commit everything you do to the Lord, trust Him and see how He can help you every step of the way!
A year ago, I wouldn’t have ever imagined my life to look like this. Everything has changed. All of my plans and dreams seem to be thrown into the scrap pile. If I was an author, my writing papers would be scrunched up and thrown into the waste paper basket! Ever felt like that?
I have just had a rough few months. However, I had big plans for this year. Big Jesus plans. Big and exciting adventures planned!
I never planned to loose my mum. It’s only been 3 months and the sting of grief is still there. But, Because I have decided to focus on Jesus this year….I still ultimately felt full of hope. Hope that even though I’m walking through another massive loss in my life- that this year could still hold some beauty.
And yes….of course, there is still hope. But today….it is the smallest trace of hope. 😆
This year, Will and I dreamed of many things. But things aren’t going to plan.
First of all, my plans never included the Coronavirus exploding throughout the world. Then again, I bet that wasn’t in your plans either! 🤔😄
Everyone in the world is freaking out about it. I’m adequately concerned, but balanced with enough faith that ultimately if I die…. Heaven awaits. But….You know, doing my best to stay home and alive if possible.
What has hit me harder than fear of catching this terrible illness, is the social isolation. The grief of not seeing my loved ones. Of staying the required distance apart. No hugging.
The grief of running into the people I love at the shops…and seeing the fear on their faces that I might be carrying “the plague” and fear I may come too close. I get it. Maybe I look at others that way too?
I feel the saddness of having to tell my kids to not hug anyone if we see someone we know while we are out! And now….the added grief of not even being able to Go Out!
There are many posts of Facebook about “doing the right thing” and self isolation. But I haven’t seen many posts about how hard it is to be isolated. I’m not talking about boredom or toliet paper memes. I’m talking…. “my life feels like it is spinning out of control and I need a hug…or a coffee date but I am forbidden to do so for an undefined period of time!” Is there a meme for that??? 😉
I wanted another baby this year, but it’s not as simple now because if the risk of coronavirus.
We wanted to go away later this year, but that’s fairly bleak looking right now.
And then my baby needed an MRI. Today, actually.
You see, my little 1 year old has been having strange eye issues. One eye has started to roll backwards, get ‘stuck’ briefly in place and sometimes twitches for a split second. It ends almost as quick as it happens. But our whole household sees it. No parent wants to see their child’s eyes roll or do weird things.
I think that it will be ok. Maybe a weird lazy eye thing? But regardless….my baby had a brain scan today. We have no idea of what’s going on in her body. Her eye ‘episodes’ happen at least 10-15 times a day now. But if you think of how quickly a twitch or second passes, when most people see her- you would never guess how big this feels to us.
But thankfully, zero other concerning issues. She is still our happy little cutie pie. Our “Havey Bear” (Haven) ❤❤❤❤❤.
So my Hope’s and Dreams feel like they are “Cancelled”. My vision for this year seems a little blurry right now.
No mum. No socialising. No idea what’s causing Haven’s eyes to act strange. No baby making 🤣😆 (feels sadder than it sounds)
For now, this is the view of my heart and life. It is the tapestry being woven into the story of my life. And I wouldn’t have chosen my year to look like this. Especially 2020; which has such a good ring to it!! Hehe
But I am not the author of my life. God is.
And while all of my world feels overwhelming right now, this is not the final chapter of my life. There will be sorrow, and there will be joy. And none of these things will change the plans God has for my life. And If you are feeling overwhelmed right now, your current circumstances don’t change God’s plan for your life either. Just saying 😘
I can see God in many things. I love Romans 1:19-20. How God has put the knowledge of him in every human heart. Even those who have never heard about God or Jesus, can see God’s qualities in visible ways.
It sounds ridicuolous. But I can see the heart behind this verse. God’s “invisible qualities” are visible in so many ways.
Can you see?
I see it in creation. I see God in nature, his creation reflects who He is. There is such beauty and creativity in His handiwork. It is not a result of a big bang. It is the result of a Master Artist, our Heavenly Father.
Have you ever looked at the stars in the sky, and felt your spirit move within you?
Have you ever felt peace, during a time when your world was full of chaos? Jesus is the prince of peace.
Have you felt comfort, when your heart could explode from grief?
If your reading this, I pray that God will bless you and open your eyes to see God’s fingerprints all around you.
Even if you have never thought about God before- I can tell you that He has been thinking about you since the beginning of time. He loves you.
And for those of you who already know Jesus. I pray that you will be refreshed with a joy thast overflows today. I pray that God will remind you of all the ways He has faithfully been involved in every area of your life. I pray that you will be more aware of God’s fingerprints in your life. I pray that you will invite him into every area of your life. Your work. Family. Finances. Health. Future. Hopes and dreams…
I pray that we all see the small mercies of God. That we notice the things that point towards our Saviour.
I pray that each parent who has ever held their newborn baby would see God in their precious baby. How can such a precious gift be anything other than the work of an incredible God?
And I pray that in this season of craziness and fear with the Corona virus- that we will all seek God. May God do miraculous things in our hearts during this time of fear and uncertainty.
May God fill you with a hope and peace that cannot be moved. May we praise God, even in the storm.
I love you, Jesus. Your praise will always be on my lips.💜💜💜
My darling daughter, Brielle is 4 years old. This year she was very excited to start swimming lessons, along with her other sisters.
But it has been very hard for me as a mum! I was so tempted to quit, as I have to juggle my 2 youngest girls during swimming lessons each wednesday. While Brielle is in her lesson, I must be there with her to help her not to drown! 😂 The challenge is- I’m also holding my 1 year old daughter Haven…while keeping her from also drowning! 🤔😂
I laugh, but it’s stressful for me. And while all the other parents are blissfully enjoying the joys of watching their kids swimming: I am debating in my head if I’ll survive the 30 minute lesson on my own!
Then a miracle occurred. One of the swimming teachers brought Brielle a beautiful floatie! One of the $50 ones that in like a mini top, with chest and arm floaties. It is brilliant! She feels like she can swim. She paddles around in the deep water, and doesn’t sink or drown!!!
This is a massive blessing! Now while I’m helping Haven during her swimming lesson, I know that Brielle is safe. (While still keeping a close eye on her and watching she’s ok.) And Brielle LOVES the feeling of being able to be an independent swimmer. 🤣😂😆
The sad part is that after Haven’s lesson is finished, it is Brielle’s lesson. Off must come the precious floatie! Brielle is devastated each time. Suddenly, she cannot swim or float at all. Suddenly, Brielle needs to do the work herself. Without the floatie, everything seems hard. Without the floatie, some things are impossible for her to do.
This is when it hit me! God’s grace is like a floatie. God’s strength and joy and grace allow us to do impossible things!
Sometimes, we forget that God’s grace enables us to do things we cannot do in our own strength. We briefly think it is us or our own giftings that allow us to do what we want. But we need to remember that God’s grace is a gift, and something we must give Him glory for!
On the positive side: We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! God’s grace is sufficient for us! Imagine what God can do in our lives, when we ask Him for the grace to do it!! Isn’t that amazing????
So, let’s always remember that God’s grace is like a floatie! We can swim in life’s ocean with God’s empowering grace! Let’s remember that it is God who helps us to achieve so many of the things in our lives.
Praying this morning that you will experience the joy that Brielle feels when she’s swimming in her floatie! May God fill you with joy and laughter as you see the things He helps you do or cope with each day. ❤❤❤❤
My heart is overflowing with possibilities: “What will God do in my heart this year?”
This year, everything in me declares to God: “Lord, I just need more of you!!!”
This year, I started thinking that 2020 would be marked by the grief of loosing my mum. But, I’m now choosing to cling to God and I’m asking Him to comfort me.
My prayer is that He will fill my heart with His peace. The kind of peace that “surpasses all understanding”.
The Bible also mentions the “joy of the Lord”…so I’m asking God to give me joy that overflows. It doesn’t mean I won’t be grieving or missing my beautiful mum. But that I have realised that in this time, I need Jesus even more than ever.
I miss my mum. I miss my dad.
If it wasn’t for God, I would feel like an adult orphan right now. 😂😣🤔 I’m 31, but deep down I’m still a little girl who misses her parents….
This is when I turn to my “Heavenly Father”. My only hope. The lifter of my head. My comfort and strength.
So despite everything happening in my world, my heart is bursting with faith.
It has been so beautiful, seeing the way God has been encouraging my heart. I definately needed encouraging!
I love how God encourages my heart in simple, yet personal ways!
Can you remember any intimate moments where God has done something or said something that caused your heart to melt?
Has something happened in your life that you knew had to be a God thing? A moment that was so personal to you, but made you love Him even more?
I had one of those moments last night. My heart has been hungry for revival stories and biographies of people of faith. I have always loved biographies!
I was talking with my friends Katy and Daniel, about pioneers of the Christian faith. Suddenly, they showed me many of their books on “generals of the faith” for me to borrow.
It sounds simple, but my heart was filled with awe at the goodness of God!!!! I didn’t know that Katy and Daniel had books like that, so I didn’t even think to ask to borrow them. So when they generously lent me them to read, it was a powerful and encouraging reminder that God cares about the small details of my life.
He loves me enough to provide the books my spirit craves. It cost me nothing, yet will bless me abundantly.
These books are about men and women who loved Jesus without limits, and they will show me what life can look like when you seek God with all of your heart.
So today I am praying that you will notice the ways that God encourages your heart.
I pray that you will see how much God cares about His personal relationship with you.
He loves us all in a unique way. How incredible is that!!!!
No other religion or god in this world can offer a personal relationship with their Saviour!!!!!
“Lord, you are beyond comparison or comprehension! There is none like You! Lord, Set a fire down in my heart. Please be the treasure that I seek. When I’m struggling and tempted to go my own way- please remind me that your presence is the prize worth fighting for. Remind me that you are God. You are good. There are none beside you. You are worthy of all praise. Thank you for the melody of the Holy Spirit. Thank you that you cause us to “go out in joy and be led forth in peace”. Thank you that you give us joy as our strength and faith as a shield.”
This year, my heart is ready to step out in faith again. There are dreams and ideas whirling around my head. Mostly, I think they are “God ideas”: or they could be “good ideas” or at worst- “terrible ideas”!! 😂🤣😄
The first dream that has resurfaced within my heart is to become a foster mum, or foster carer. I’ve had this desire in me well before we had our own children, and it’s been something I’ve asked Will to consider for the past 10 years. 😆
This year, it has made me feel restless. A determination to step out in faith. We aren’t a perfect family, but we do desire that all children have a safe home and a loving family.
Then the doubts harass me: “How Will you cope, when you already have your hands full?”
“How will you cope when sometimes it is challenging to parent our own children?”
“What if it’s a mistake? What if you crash and burn? What if you bite of more than you can chew?”
Ask me any questions on this topic, and I’ve probably already thought of it.
But what if…..
What if we can provide a child with a loving home? What if we can help create a few beautiful memories with them?
What if God is prompting us to do this, and we say no because of fear of the unknown?
What if…God wants us to pray for the kids that spent time in our home? What if we are the only Christian family they will meet?
What if…our girls learn what it’s like to care about the needs of others? What if it ignites a passion to welcome children into their homes one day, and they aren’t afraid to be carers either?
And if we aren’t in the right season? If I’m wrong, and God isn’t calling us to foster? Then we learn to be humble and admit: “We heard wrong” or “the timing wasn’t right.”
Here’s the thing: I can deal with failures and mistakes. Although they sting and are embarrassing at times. However, when I look back on my life I don’t want to regret “never stepping out in faith” or being too afraid to try. Disappointment and regrets are harder to swallow than mistakes.
What do you think? Have you ever had an idea that terrified you and also burned within your heart?
The other dream or idea is even crazier! But yet, it is like a seed in my heart that feels like it’s growing rapidly.
We want to Homeschool our girls. At this point, we intend to commit to one year. Starting next year: 2021. But we are open to starting this year, too.
Now, if we get crazy glances from people when we mention foster care (because we have our hands full already); I can imagine the looks of people when you read about homeschooling!!!!😂😂😂😂😄
That’s ok. I feel doubtful at times, too.
It feels the same as how I feel about fostering. Exciting and terrifying.
Trust me, I see my own weaknesses fairly clearly. Yet, it is not my weaknesses that define me. I want to live a life of faith. Of taking risks and trying new things. Of being willing to “give it a go”. Even if it doesn’t work out for our family, then I will be able to say “At least I tried”.
And maybe it is something God is leading us into? Maybe it isn’t a God idea, but a value I have on raising my kids? Or in the very least: a good intention.
I know that I cannot do everything, especially in my own abilities. But I have a Saviour called Jesus who does say that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. That’s where the impossible, suddenly becomes possible. The weak becomes strong.
Who knows what will become of these hopes and dreams? Only God knows our future. All I know is that our future is in God’s hands. Whatever that may look like. As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord.