Monday, September 18, 2017

The Unschooling Daughter and the Straight-A Momma



I haven't shared much about our homeschooling lately. To be honest, my daughter is pretty independent most days. I try to help her with things but she's at a point where she's figuring a lot of stuff out on her own. We still converse, I try to get as much information as I can into our conversations and will follow them up with links to articles or youtube videos. So there isn't really much to share in regards to actual school work.

I have been thinking today about that transition that I had to make when we first got started. I was one of those people that loved school. I tried my best to have perfect attendance, straight A's, and turn all my work in on time. I did my homework the night before, unless I completely forgot about it, like that report for Mr. Prospero about Will Rogers which I totally just biffed and wrote it the morning of while I was walking between classes. Let's just say that was the last time I forgot to go to the library for his class. It continued through college. I can count on two fingers the number of times I skipped class, one was to wash horses with Mary Ladd, the other was the watch the infinity dress commercial with Jaime. Both were totally worth it and I'd do it again. Now, graduate school I struggled a bit more. Things weren't as rigorous as I was used to and I met those expectations quite well. It probably wasn't my school's fault, I had just completed a dual major and practically showed up straight from my summer job as a camp director and was taken down by cedar fever, which I have never experienced before or since. All that is to say that I am a lover of rules. I really enjoyed the structure of school and the regiment of classwork, papers, labs, and the academic life in general. I still toy with the idea of going back to school but since I don't have any actual need or reason it's just a happy little daydream. (It normally involves medical school). That's me and my academic hang-ups.
Before Joel and I even got married, we had pretty much settled on the idea that we would homeschool. Between the two of us, we have degrees in chemistry, English, French, and divinity, so we thought we'd be okay. I had plans to do these amazing labs in our high school years and that we would have a sweet little school room set up in our imaginary house in the future with all of our kids gathered around to do school work just like in Little House on the Prairie, the tv show not the books.

And then reality happened. We didn't have lots of kids we had a kid. And as much as I wanted her to be able to sit and hear all the amazing lectures and watch me be the teacher at the front of the room, she was not thriving. It was a struggle. The worst part was that she was learning more about what I wanted her to learn through her own play and personal entertainment choices. I mean seriously, here was the kid that wouldn't sit through a lesson but could sight identify over a hundred different species of dinosaurs and interject into conversation animal facts that were not only correct but relevant.

I had to come to terms with the fact that even at that early stage of her life, her need for me to educate her was very low. She did not need lectures and workbooks and any number of other things I had tried. Fortunately, I wised up and started checking to see if things were in the library before investing. Unschooling was a natural choice for H. She was doing it already. She was feeding herself information and learning how to gather more of it all by herself. And there I was trying to ask her to do the equivalent of using a fork and knife on a chicken tender and ear of corn when she was perfectly content eating with her own two hands. I had to let go of the how she got the knowledge and accept the fact that she was getting it. Even today I struggle with this. I wonder if she's getting well-rounded meals and if I should be inserting my etiquette into that ordeal.

I have discovered that it's best to help her decide what's on the menu, give some helpful suggestions on how to serve it and then let her have at it. It never ends well when I try to force feed her or make changes. That's not to say that I don't have access to the menu. I do. The two of us sit down on a regular basis and decide how she's going to get different aspects of her education into her day. I'm there for questions and for challenging. At the moment, I'm also the record keeper, though I imagine that once she gets serious about what's the first step in her completely independent life that she will move into that role and some other advisor will help with her educational menu making.

I read other homeschool families doing, getting new curriculum, buying school supplies, a start and stop to the school year and there's a temptation to feel like we've missed out on something. And in truth, we have, but what we've gained has been far greater than any loss perceived or real. I wouldn't say that unschooling is for everyone, just like I wouldn't say that homeschooling is for everyone. What I have come to accept is that unschooling is perfect for us today. There may come a time when our daughter has a change in her learning style and she will thrive in a traditional educational setting until then we're going to keep on. And I'm going to do my best to not worry about the lack of grades and attendance.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Wellness Revelation by Alisa Keeton




The Wellness Revelation is an 8-week workbook. Each week takes a different focus of spiritual and physical wellness. Keeton does an excellent job of showing how the two are related and gently leads the reader through helpful revelations to open doors to better health and encouragement.
The main downfall of the book is that it references several workout routines, assessments, and plans that are not included in the book nor on the website. I'm assuming that they are available for a monthly fee through her organization. Without those, the book isn't as helpful as it could be. I felt a little like I was reading the class notes for a class I wasn't a part of. So I got the idea but felt that there was more out there.
As it is, it has several aha moments that it can help those that are looking to connect their spiritual and physical lives. I tried working through the book myself but because of the lack of assessments and personal accountability group, I was not encouraged to move very far through the program. On the website, there is a free seven-day detox. I am intrigued to figure out how much personal growth could occur by actually enrolling in a class, but my true hope was that the book would be a stand alone 8-week journey that I could do on my own or with friends. I wonder if an appendix or two was left out accidentally.

***UPDATE*** I was contacted by the publisher. The pdf file that is linked to from the Wellness Revelation Website actually has hyperlinks embedded into the file. Which means that yes, there is an appendix or two that are available on the web. The pdf links to various videos and podcasts. This addition does make the book a complete resource. Just need to add a willing spirit and maybe a buddy or two.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing House. I'm never required to give a positive review, but always thankful when I can.

Monday, July 31, 2017

James Week 10 James 5: 13-20









We finish up our study on James with some encouraging words about prayer and standing in the gap.




Study Questions Week 10


  1. When you don't feel like yourself, what is generally your first response? Do you start with prayer, rest, food, lashing out at others? 
    1. When you encounter others that are not acting like themselves what is your initial thought? How do you think your relationships would be different if you began those interactions with prayers? Prayers for understanding for yourself and peace for the other person?
  2. When you are happy, do you ever try to keep it to yourself because you don't want to celebrate while others around you are struggling? Can focusing our happiness towards God with praise and worship change how we view sharing those moments? 
    1. God is the source of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). How can this verse help shape your worship and praise? 
    2. Take some time this week to praise God for some good gifts, which are present even if you are in the midst of a struggle.
  3. Do you have a sticky sin, one that you've confessed but you're still seeking forgiveness? Beth Moore said that when we are reminded of sins that we've already confessed, that's an opportunity to instead of asking for something we've already been given, forgiveness, to instead praise God with a simple "Thank you, Lord, for forgiving that sin." We can turn our negative self talk into worship with that simple statement.
    1. If you have a sin that is exceptionally sticky, find someone in the faith that you trust that you can confess to. Let them know that you would like to get together to discuss your faith and that you have something that needs to be confessed. Make sure that where you meet provides you with enough security and anonymity that you are not concerned about others overhearing.
  4. Elijah was a great man of prayer. What area of your life would you like to see God take over and show His power? Take some time to discuss it with God and see what happens.
  5. Weekly Challenge: Our challenge this week is to pray. Pray for ourselves, others, those that are in trouble, those that are happy, those that are sick and those that are in need of confession.


Leave your comments below or join the discussion on Facebook and Instagram #BibleStudywithTina


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Monday, July 24, 2017

James Week 9 James 5: 1-12



In the first part of chapter 5 James talks about money and some relationship pitfalls we have with it. We’ll also be talking about patience in suffering.





Study Questions Week 9


  1. Do you ever consider yourself wealthy? Even poverty in the United States is a higher quality of life that many other areas of the world (You can check out this article from Forbes for some information on that.) Are you using your wealth to please yourself or to please God? 
  2. What is one change in your buying habits that you can make to ensure that those that helped create it are getting a fair wage? There are buzz words for products such as "Fair Trade" but ones that I've found even more useful are "Locally grown" or "I know a guy who does that." 
  3. Patience is not an easy gift to receive. Do you practice active waiting? Active waiting is when you ask God for an answer to a solution and you continue to praise Him and serve where and how you are. Try active waiting this week and see if it helps you build up your patience. 
  4. Let your yes and no stand alone. James says that we will be condemned. The word used for condemned is also translated "hypocrisy" in other passages. How can you remove yourself from hypocrisy? Are you tempted to give answers beyond yes and no? What can you do to prevent yourself from saying one thing but doing another?
  5. Weekly Challenge: Read the story of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-32 and to discern which son you are and which son God desires you to be.



Leave your comments below or join the discussion on Facebook and Instagram #BibleStudywithTina


Having trouble getting the podcast to play? You can access it directly through this link. Or send me an email to get a copy of the manuscript.
https://archive.org/details/JamesWeek9



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Monday, July 17, 2017

James Week 8 James 4: 11-17



We look at judgement and boasting this week.






Study Questions for Week 8:


  1. In verse 11, James tells us not to slander one another. Do you struggle with gossip? What is one change you can make to your day that help reduce your access to gossip?
  2. When you are tempted to judge is it to tear the person down or to help lift them up? What does judgment to lift someone up look like? Take some time and think about how you can use your knowledge of someone to help them.
  3. Do you like making plans? Are you one of those people that enjoy organizing and getting things ready for tomorrow? How can you invite God into those plans?
    1. Are you a worrier? Do you worry about what tomorrow will hold? What steps can you take to give that worry back to God?
  4. Verse 17 says if we know what to do and don't do it, then it's sin. What's something that you've been putting off doing for awhile? What can you do today to stop procrastinating?
  5. Weekly Challenge: Take some time and write down your desires for your future. As many of them as you can think of. Then take that piece of paper and burn it. As your plans turn to ash dedicate your future to God, ask him to bring his desires into those ashes and make them whole. 



Leave your comments below or join the discussion on Facebook and Instagram #BibleStudywithTina


Having trouble getting the podcast to play? You can access it directly through this link. Or send me an email to get a copy of the manuscript.
https://archive.org/details/JamesWeek8



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Thursday, July 13, 2017



This Thursday, I've heard a lot of sad news but I want to remember some of the good stuff going on.

I'm thankful that Joel and I will be celebrating sixteen years of marriage tomorrow! That's unbelievable in so many ways. I'm excited to see what the next sixteen hold.

I'm thankful that my daughter is a logical thinker and tends to act after thinking.

I'm thankful that we're starting a new business venture. I can't wait to see what type of treats we come up with!

I'm thankful for a mostly clean house and the ability to help it get even cleaner today.

I'm thankful for birthdays, especially when they're the birthdays of people I love.

What are you thankful for today?


Sunday, July 9, 2017

James Week 7 James 4: 1-10


Week 7! This week, James takes another look at why we don't get what we want.





Study Questions for Week 7:


  1. James says in verse 2 that we desire but don't have so we kill. Do you see others as competition? Does jealousy mark your relationship with those that have things that you desire for yourself?
    1. How can you start to see the relationship differently if you were to see others as fellow travelers instead of competition?
  2. James calls us adulterous people. Have you ever thought of your relationship with God to be like a marriage? If so, are you being faithful to Him or are you walking out every now and then?
    1. What small things do you seek from the world instead of God? Can God provide you with those small things?
    2. What is one area of your life that you can give up looking for answers in the world and turn to God instead?
  3. In verse 7 we are called to submit ourselves to God. We talked about Godly wisdom being submissive last week. Is submission something that you struggle with? 
    1. What is one way that you can submit to God this week?
  4. James shows us that relying on God involves: submission, washing our hands, purifying our hearts, grieving, mourning, wailing, and humbling ourselves. Can you think of a time that you have experienced these actions? Have they brought you closer to God?
    1. None of them can be faked, each is an effect of the first, submission. If you struggle with submission then all the rest will difficult if not impossible to truly experience. 
  5. Weekly Challenge: Take a day and fast. In that fasting, see what God has to say about your desires, ambitions, and motives. If you discover something that is married to the world, take time to humble yourself, resist the devil, wash your hands, purify your hearts, grieve, mourn, wail, and humble yourself so that you may be lifted up.

Leave your comments below or join the discussion on Facebook and Instagram #BibleStudywithTina


Having trouble getting the podcast to play? You can access it directly through this link. Or send me an email to get a copy of the manuscript.
https://archive.org/details/JamesWeek7



Want to subscribe so you don't miss a single episode? Use this feed in your podcast app of choice
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