Daily Focus

  • The First Loaf

    Posted on Thursday, Apr 24th

    My daughter's first attempt at baking bread in our home economics class served as a stark reminder of the importance of patience. Although she carefully measured and followed the recipe's directions when making the dough, her lack of patience in waiting for it to rise paid a stiff penalty. Thinking she could hurry the process along, she only let the dough rise 15 minutes instead of an hour. Later, as she removed the bread from the oven, she discovered the consequence of her actions. Each loaf was flat and too hard to eat.Read More Read More...

  • Going for the Gold

    Posted on Wednesday, Apr 23rd

    My oldest son loved the old West stories in our U.S. history curriculum. He seemed to identify with the early settlers who left the comforts of home and family in the East for adventure and gold in the West's unknown frontiers. Because my son's interest in this chapter of history ran deep, we decided to celebrate his tenth birthday with a tour of a working gold mine in Colorado.Read More Read More...

  • High Waters

    Posted on Tuesday, Apr 22nd

    We had seen the dark cloud in the distance. Knowing we were in for another soaker, our family prepared for a torrential downpour. Just as we completed our preparations, however, it seemed like some invisible hand reached out and moved the cloud. After not even receiving a drop of rain, the sun came out and we thought the storm was over, until we heard a flash flood alert on the radio. Apparently, eight inches of rain had fallen in the neighboring town, and a three-foot wall of water was headed our way.Read More Read More...

  • Flying High

    Posted on Monday, Apr 21st

    The annual kite flying day was only two weeks away for our homeschooling group, and my oldest son was looking forward to winning the category for the highest flying kite. For several months, he had been preparing the perfect design. Using the old box shape, he believed that his kite would fly higher and better than any other kite in western Nebraska's strong, spring winds. His balsa wood frame was tightly wrapped in light-weight flour sack cloths, and with his father's help, he tested the kite's lift and drag performance several times.Read More Read More...

  • Early Morning Singers

    Posted on Sunday, Apr 20th

    Their greeting surprised me that morning. As the sun rose, their warbling song filtered through the window and lifted my spirit with the hope of spring. My patience had been running thin for the past several weeks, and God knew that I needed a boost to finish our homeschooling year. With their joyful melodies ministering to my soul, I listened in amazement and smiled as I watched them sing. Their tiny bodies shook and resonated with sound, appearing as if they used their entire being. "Amazing," I thought to myself. "These little wrens do a better job of praising the Lord than I do."Read More Read More...

  • Daily Chores

    Posted on Saturday, Apr 19th

    What chores have you delegated to your children to keep the homeschooling wheels turning in your family? To save electricity and money, my youngest daughter's chore was hanging up the clothes to dry. Each morning after breakfast, she either hung the clothes outside in the fresh summer air or inside on the drying rack during the winter months. With six people in our family, this task grew into a time-consuming chore. Early on, she discovered that no amount of complaining or procrastinating would relieve her of the responsibility. Learning to face the task with resolve and determination, she acquired a work ethic that has since served her well in the workplace.Read More Read More...

  • Painful Reminders

    Posted on Friday, Apr 18th

    The morning started with the warmth of a spring sun and God's prompting to take the children outdoors. Winter had been long, and I knew their spirits needed refreshment. Calling homeschooling off for the afternoon, I sent each child his separate way to enjoy his individual interests. My youngest set out to watch the ants as they built their new home, my oldest started down the road for a bike ride, and my two middle children walked to the paddock for a leisurely horseback ride.Read More Read More...

  • To the Finish

    Posted on Thursday, Apr 17th

    The end of the school year was getting closer. The calendar wasn't the only source that revealed that fact. The quality of my children's schoolwork was also an indicator. With the finish line in sight and carefree summer days just ahead, my children rushed through their lessons. Poorly written compositions, half-answered history questions, and math papers with high percentages of incorrect answers confirmed that spring fever had hit our homeschool. I needed to find something to motivate my children to finish the school year working to the best of their abilities.Read More Read More...

  • Side by Side

    Posted on Wednesday, Apr 16th

    Would you like to know a successful homeschooling secret? My children did their best schoolwork when I sat next to them as they completed their assignments. Sounds too simple, doesn't it? I thought so, too, until I tested my theory. No matter their age, the difference was remarkable between the days when I quietly sat nearby and the days when I was busy with chores in another room. Apparently, my presence empowered them with the reassurance that I was there to help if they had a question.Read More Read More...

  • I Think I Can, I Think I Can

    Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15th

    Like the little blue engine, my chant each morning during my early years of homeschooling was "I think I can do this!" I'm sure if others had heard my thoughts, they would have laughed. Trying to gain the confidence I needed for homeschooling, I thought that if I said the words enough, I would eventually believe them. Truthfully, I wasn't quite so sure I could homeschool. The idea of teaching my five-year-old seemed easy enough, but that was before I started teaching phonetic sounds. Since I had learned to read with sight words, teaching phonics was a whole new experience. Already, I was facing a roadblock of insecurities, and my homeschooler was only in kindergarten! What was I going to do when we got to high school?Read More Read More...

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