Homeschool help: The book that started it all

Have you ever had a crisis of faith?

A couple of years ago, two of my children began having real problems in public school. One day Katya, my 8th grader, (and the one who wasn’t having problems) insisted she wasn’t going to high school because she didn’t want to be tempted by drugs, sex or alcohol. She asked me to homeschool her.

What do you say to that? “Sorry honey, I can’t; I’m not qualified.”

Well, that’s exactly what I did.

We happened to be sitting together in Barnes & Noble at the time. When I explained that I couldn’t possibly homeschool her because she was smarter than me, she walked away. She came back five minutes later and slapped this book in my lap:


I laughed, but she was serious.

I prayed about it – hard. It’s one of those things I said I’d never be able to do because I didn’t have the desire or the patience. God confirmed that this was the path I need to take.

Just a note – Don’t ever tell God what you’ll never do.

Anyway, that’s what’s caused my crisis of faith. At the time, I couldn’t see the many ways in which God wanted to bless me. I was like the blind men that came to Jesus:

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

     When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

     “Yes Lord,” they replied.

      Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.” Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.”  Matthew 9:27-31

Jesus never turned down the requests of those who came to him and he still doesn’t. That promise held true for me and it will hold true for you just as soon as you decide to go to him in faith.

Dear Jesus, thank you in advance for equipping us to do what you ask us to do. May you always get the credit for your power! Amen.

Our Great Nation

I’m laid low in bed today because I have a chronic illness and it’s been out of control lately. However, I did get up and out for two very important things: A trip to my pain management doctor and a trip to the polls.


I hobbled to the voting booth today because I love my country and more importantly, I love teaching about it to the next generation. I want to be a good example to them.

In our school, Civics is as important as Math and English. I use every election cycle to educate them about their duty as citizens of our great nation because after all, they will be our leaders one day.

Deuteronomy 4:8-9 says: And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

As the world leaders of democracy, we do indeed have a great nation. Many would argue that our greatness is fading but I’m not sure about that. However, I do know that if we don’t uphold the constitution, pray and teach our children to do the same, we contribute to our country’s demise.

So here are a few of my favorite hands-on tools for teaching Civics and American History:

for you they signed
This can be done as a devotional study and I’ve used it as a character study. It’s informative and fascinating!

foundations of character
These videos are fast-paced and informative – the kids and I learned many new things.
The copy I have also comes with document reproductions.

The National Constitution Center is also a great place for loads of information for kids and adults.

What do you say?: Do you have any favorite resources or tools for teaching Civics?

The joy of learning in their own way

There’s nothing that fills my heart with peace more than seeing my children learning in an environment custom made for them. I mean, how often can you walk from room to room in your home and see your kids fully engaged in learning?

Katya working

I can relate.  I’m a “floor sitter” too and do my best learning that way! In the picture above, my daughter (the floor sitter) is working with a friend on a literary analysis paper.

Dania working


In this picture, my oldest daughter is engrossed in a Marketing course she’s taking through The Keystone School, an online high school.

For us girls, the free exchange of ideas and relaxed learning style is paramount to success. My son does better sitting upright at a desk,  that is, when he’s not bouncing on my exercise ball.

Your turn: In what ways do your students learn best?

Homeschool Help: Encouragement for Uncertain Times

As I sit enthralled by the television coverage of Ebola, and watch frightened parents take their children out of school I can’t help wonder “What if…?”

What if this becomes a common occurrence? What if American parents decide that public school isn’t safe anymore?

What if they don’t know what to do next?

I know how it feels.

If you told me five years ago I’d be homeschooling my children I would have said you were nuts. I would have said that I wasn’t qualified or patient enough. And to be honest, I simply didn’t want to.

Until I had to.

When my oldest child endured a cyber-bullying attack in her first year of high school everything changed. We not only removed her, we made the difficult decision to homeschool all three of our kids.

You know what? It’s been the biggest adventure and best decision our family’s ever made, which brings me to the point of this blog.

Homeschool Zoo

My goal is two-fold: I want to encourage nervous parents who feel they can’t homeschool and I want to have a place to showcase fun photos, resources and books that help me along the way.

When God gave us the gift of our children, he equipped us with the love and practical knowledge to do what’s best for them. If you’re thinking of homeschooling, I hope I can help you overcome the fear of it and strengthen you for the journey ahead.

I hope you enjoy this space and visit again soon!

Hope and help for homeschooling challenging kids. From our home to yours!

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