Daily Focus - April 2013

  • Putting Down Roots

    Posted in Daily Focus on Tuesday, Apr 30th

    After you've lived somewhere like the windy, western plains of Nebraska, you begin to appreciate the value of a tree. Inspired by the founding father of Arbor Day, Julius Sterling Morton, my young son decided to make some changes in our barren landscape. Using seeds from his grandparents' ash trees in northwest Iowa, he planted hundreds in different locations on our ranch for a homeschool science project. My son faithfully watered each seed for several months, but soon discovered the climate and poor quality of soil were unfit for starting a new tree. Discouraged, my young son said, "I guess Iowa seeds simply won't grow unless they're in Iowa dirt." Read More...


  • The Joy of Children

    Posted in Daily Focus on Monday, Apr 29th

    Call me crazy, but I just love kids. Therefore, making the decision to homeschool our four children wasn't difficult. It was simply a result that grew out of love. What did seem crazy, however, were the countless, negative remarks I received from people who felt bogged down by the responsibilities of parenting. Such comments like, "Why in the world would you want to stay home with your kids?" or "I can hardly wait until they're ready for school, so I can enjoy my life again," seemed as crazy to me as my homeschooling did to them. In response I thought, "Why wouldn't you want to spend time with the people you love most?" Read More...


  • Focused Homeschooling

    Posted in Daily Focus on Sunday, Apr 28th

    Distractions. Every day you face them as a homeschooling parent. Although some may seem good in themselves, they can steal time from your family and destroy your homeschooling schedule. Learning to recognize each interruption as either a divine rescheduling or an evil diversion takes discernment that only comes from the Holy Spirit. Whether it's a long phone call from your mother or sister or an invitation to enjoy an impromptu outing with another homeschooling family, you must prayerfully consider what daily activities are best for your family. Read More...


  • The Lone Tree

    Posted in Daily Focus on Saturday, Apr 27th

    Attempting to find a few moments with the Lord before the beginning of our homeschooling day, I hiked the ragged bluffs in the pasture near our ranch. As I walked through the dry stubble, sage brush, and yucca plants, I came across a small cottonwood tree. With no other trees of any kind close by for miles, it looked completely out of place. The rocky ground in which it grew offered little nourishment, and I knew months had passed since any rain had fallen. "How does this little tree stay alive out here all by itself?" I asked myself. Read More...


  • Hen and Peck

    Posted in Daily Focus on Friday, Apr 26th

    One of our homeschooling family's favorite springtime activities was visiting the local feed and seed store to see the new baby chickens and ducks. Every year the store converted several small aluminum water tanks into warm, cozy homes for these little creatures. My children never tired of watching their antics and especially enjoyed their baby peeping noises. As my young daughter leaned over the tank to pet their soft downy feathers, she looked at me with questioning eyes and said, "Mom, can I have one?" Read More...


  • Cutting Remarks

    Posted in Daily Focus on Thursday, Apr 25th

    If you've ever been slandered by someone as a homeschooler, you know the difficulty in forgiving hurtful words spoken in ignorance. As a homeschooling parent, rising above cruel remarks was a constant battle. Dealing with misinformed statements like "Homeschoolers don't educate their children; they simply brainwash them and turn them into non-thinking Christian zombies," required the supernatural love and forgiveness of God. Unfortunately, many years went by before I finally realized the lesson God was teaching me — how to love others in the face of opposition. Read More...


  • The First Loaf

    Posted in Daily Focus on Wednesday, 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...


  • Going for the Gold

    Posted in Daily Focus on Tuesday, 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...