You CAN Homeschool in High School

The Importance of Developing Your Student to be an Independent Learner

Many homeschool parents get intimidated when their teens enter high school. Homeschooling up through junior high was great, but now the stakes seem a lot higher and the pressure feels a lot greater.  Some families decide to send their children to public or private school for high school and if that’s what works for your family, great!  But if you’re interested in sticking with homeschool for the high school years, you may want to check out my four-part post series on the topic.  Even if you aren’t homeschooling, I bet you can find some handy tips for helping your student succeed no matter where the education process takes place.  A critical step in any form of education is the development of an independent learner.  Continue reading>>

The key to homeschooling in high school is to develop your student to be an independent learner.

Blessings, Elizabeth

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Update on my Book: Stand Strong

Yes, I'm still writing it!

Celebrate with me as I do a little happy dance.  After nearly five years of studying and note-taking and one year of organizing those ideas into chapters, I have finally completed my rough draft of my very first chapter of my very first book!  And chapter 2 is on the verge of being finished.  It’s finally becoming real!

Celebrate with me! Chapter one is done!

So you may be wondering why I’ve been talking about and working on this book for the better part of a year and I only have one chapter done.  I don’t blame you.  Most days I wonder that myself. The short answer is:  life happens!  And when you’ve got a house full of 10 people all going different directions, there’s a lot of life happening on any given day!

Just because I decided to write a book doesn’t mean the laundry cleans itself, or the children magically show up where they need to be with all the stuff they were supposed to bring, or that anyone in the family suddenly figures out where to put their dirty socks.

It’s not just that doing life stuff keeps me from writing.  Actually, my life gives me so much good material, I can’t even write it all down and my book keeps growing!

For example, part of my book is on coping with anxiety and I can tell you that teaching my 16-year old how to drive has given me plenty of opportunities to try out what I’m writing and see if it actually works.

I now completely understand why my Dad put his feet up on the dash and yelled, “Stop!” when he was teaching me to drive.  I regret mocking him the way my daughter does me when I stamp the floor with my foot as she closes in on the car in front of us.

I can only now truly appreciate the terror he must have felt when I accidently put the car in drive instead reverse while attempting to back out of the movie rental parking lot. (Remember when we actually had to drive somewhere to rent a movie?)

I sympathize because my daughter did a similar thing in our driveway.  She nearly took the garage door, the car, and her mother out with one small mix up between the pedals. Who could write anything after enduring that?  I just had to go lay down until my heartbeat returned to normal.

That’s just a tiny glimpse into one of the myriads of issues I deal with on a day-to-day basis and why it’s taking so long for me to finish my manuscript.  I just realized the other day that a book is a very long thing to write.  I wonder why that didn’t dawn on me sooner.

I’ve decided that writing books is a lot like having babies.  It’s really hard to get the first one out.  I’m about ready to call for an epidural and a C-section to get this book out of me and onto paper!  If only that were an option.

A lot of people have been asking me what my book is about.  It’s called Stand Strong: Your Battleplan for Living Undefeated with Unshakable Faith.  There are times in our lives when our world gets rocked and our faith gets shaken.  As a result, there are many casualties and prisoners of war in the great battle of faith.

I want to encourage others like me whose faith sometimes wavers in the face of reality and look at practical biblical ways we can stand strong in the midst of our trials.  Here’s a little teaser from the opening of the book:

Do you ever feel defeated?

You feel beaten down and beaten up, but you can’t even see who’s throwing the punches at you.  You know God has promised victory, but it just feels so far from your own personal reality.  You want to believe that everything God says is true and right, but your experience just doesn’t seem to line up with the God you thought you knew.

There are times your world gets rocked and days when your faith falters.  You feel like you’re drowning, struggling against an opponent that is bigger and stronger than you.  Where is God now?  Why isn’t the White Knight riding in to save the day like you thought he would?  Didn’t he promise to be your strength and never leave you?  So why do you feel so weak and alone?

The harsh realities of life clash with God’s rosy promises stirring up questions that nag the corners of your mind wearing you down.  Instead of being strengthened by God’s word, you are harassed by the thought that won’t go away. “Maybe it isn’t really true after all.  Maybe I’ve been a fool.”

The apparent unwavering faith of others only adds to your isolation.  Fear of their reaction if you told them what you really think, keeps you silent and alone.  You try to smother the doubts with the outward actions of a faith-filled life, but they don’t go away—not completely.  You feel like a hypocrite, going through the motions of devotion but feeling devoid of even a mustard seed of faith.

Last October, I wrote a series entitled 31 Days to Unshakable Faith.  Those thirty-one posts touch on a few of the topics the book covers, so if you’d like a little appetizer, you can dig in here.  

And it’s still not too late to get involved (you know, since the book’s not finished yet and all).  If you have something you’d like to see addressed in the book, let me know!  I might find a place to work it in.  

What do you think people need to know or do to fortify their faith in times of trial?

So there’s the update on the latest with the book.  Stayed tuned for more!

Blessings, Elizabeth

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What You Need to Know About Your Teen

The Top 5

How well do you know your teen?  It was easier when they were little, wasn’t it?  But now he’s a quiet teen who nods and grunts and shrugs.  She has many connections and a lot of other people to talk to besides you.  And there’s a whole new language to learn now!  Not to mention the slightly condescending, “Oh mom!” when you don’t get why the meme is funny or the obscure reference to a video game you’ve never even heard of.  Schedules are full and you and your teen aren’t home together nearly as much as you used to be.  You may find yourself looking up one day and thinking, “Who is this person and what did he do with my son?”  Continue reading. >>>

What you need to understanding about your teen--Top 5.

Blessings, Elizabeth

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Can My Prayers Move a Sovereign God?

Several years ago, I went through a period where my prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling unheard and unanswered.  It got to the point where I was afraid to pray for anyone because I was sure bad things would happen to the people I cared about if I asked God to help them.

Can my prayers move a sovereign God?

I have since emerged from that dark night with a stronger faith and an unshakable certainty that God never leaves us and always hears us, even when our skewed perceptions lead us to think otherwise. 

A new day has dawned on my journey of faith, but I still wrestle with the perplexities of being a Jesus follower—the conundrums I don’t understand, the complexities I simply can not wrap my mind around. 

Two Views of Prayer

My role in prayer is one of these recurrent themes I spend a lot of time trying to figure out.  I live in the tension between two ideas of prayer that are both true to some extent, yet must be kept in balance.  I have an intellectual and spiritual tug-of-war within me that wonders,

How do my prayers and God’s sovereignty interact?

Continue Reading »

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I Don’t Wait Anymore

Book Review and Giveaway

I Don't Wait AnymoreLife has a way of turning out differently than we expected, doesn’t it?  When God takes us in a direction we never thought we’d go, it’s easy to get confused and discouraged.  What do we do when God doesn’t come through the way we thought he would and we find ourselves on a path we never wanted to be on?

In her new book, I Don’t Wait Anymore, author Grace Thornton examines these questions about her own life.  She journals her discoveries as she let go of her own expectations of what her life should be and instead sought the adventure God had in mind for her.  She shares her honest and heartfelt seeking through engaging stories.

This book was inspired by a post Grace wrote a few years ago by the same title.  Although her journey of singleness is different from my life with a family of 10, I still relate to her struggles and questions.  I too have wrestled with God over how his plans for me often turn out so different from what I thought his plans for me were.

This hardcover book is beautiful both in content and design.  The pages are thick and glossy and there is a gift dedication page in the front.  This would make a lovely gift book for young ladies just starting out on their adventures and well as anyone whose life has taken unexpected turns that left them wondering where God is going.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

You can preview the first chapter for free here.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY!

I am happy to be able to share the blessing of this book with you!  One blessed reader will receive a free copy of I Don’t Wait Anymore.  All you have to do is enter using the form below.  The more you join and share, the more entries you get.  Please share this giveaway with your friends.  The winner will be notified next week.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy an amazing adventure with God!

I didn't want to wait anymore. I already had God. And he is everything.

What unexpected adventure has God taken you on?
Please share your adventure in the comments below.

Blessings, Elizabeth

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You Did What?!

6 Ways to Help Your Teens When They Blunder

6 Ways to Help Your Teens When They Blunder

Learning how to behave like a mature responsible adult is hard work.  The transition from child to adult is fraught with opportunities for foibles and failures, missteps and misunderstandings.  As parents, it’s our job to guide our teens through this turbulent time so they can learn from their mistakes and grow in wisdom.  We have an enormous emotional investment in our children, so it’s terribly easy to get bent out of shape quickly when they make poor choices or foolish decisions.  But really, we know that flying off the handle doesn’t improve the situation or enhance the relationship.  So the next time you find yourself dealing with a sticky situation caused by your not-quite-an-adult-yet offspring, try giving your teen these six things instead of an earful of your own emotional reaction.  Continue reading >>>

Blessings, Elizabeth

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