Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Because child rearing takes so much thought, especially when home educating.

How’s Your Lent Going?

Preparing for Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.meI talked about Lent a few weeks ago. Have you made any lenten plans? Lent is now one third over so we still have a month before Easter is here. How are you preparing for the celebration of our Lord and Savior?

I shared this link a couple years ago but it is so good that I thought I’d share it again today. It says it is a five day Easter study but there is soooo much there that you could easily start this now and spend a week on each day’s studies.

Here are a couple other links packed with book suggestions, activity links, and study links. The first is from BenandMe and the second is from FutureFlyingSaucers. :) Seriously, there is LOTS at both of those sites to check out; you’re certain to find something that is useful.

I’m sure those three links will give you more than enough to read today, so I’ll run for now. I hope this is helpful in your preparation for Easter.

Michele ºÜº

Preparing for St. Patrick’s Day

It’s that time once again, when I’m confronted with a National Holiday of which I never really knew the significance. I didn’t even really do it justice when my children were young. So I write this to help you not do what I did. ;)

I’m sharing a post I shared several years ago but have checked (and fixed when necessary) the links to ensure they still work. There is a five day study, which also has suggestions for turning into a two week study and another is complete with copywork, art study, and a recipe. :) Lots of stuff here.

So without further adieu, here’s the post from the past.


The article I’m sharing with you today is short because it is Saint Patrick’s Day and there is more than enough information packed into this small article. I got it from the email newsletter of  The Teaching Home. If you don’t get this newsletter, you should; it has lots of great stuff in it but not so much it is overwhelming.

I hope you find this helpful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

St. Patrick's Day Links ~

St. Patrick’s Day

by Cindy Short and Sue Welch

St. Patrick’s Day

presents an opportunity to teach your children the true story of Patrick of Ireland, who at the age of 16, was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave. After he found God while herding pigs and escaping, he returned to his home in Roman Brittan, and later returned to Ireland as a humble and brave missionary!

We have included many excellent resources, a free unit study, and free e-books below.

•  Free 5-day St. Patrick Unit Study from Knowledge Quest. Includes: biography about St. Patrick, research, and report; science, nature, and craft activities; timeline, mapping, and lapbook activities; and an Irish dinner.

•  Free 23-Page E-book from Living Books Curriculum, St. Patrick’s Day Holiday Helper. Includes: a biography, rare illustrations for picture study, a recipe for soda bread, and more.

•  Read more about Patrick in the online article from Joyful Heart, “Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up?.”

•  Read a shorter account (on for children of Patrick’s life and how he used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.

•  St. Patrick’s Breastplate: Read this poetic prayer, listen to and see it sung in an Irish setting, and study vocabulary, geography, and comprehension questions.

•  Free eBook: Confession of St. Patrick. Read this brief story of St. Patrick’s life, told through his own eyes.

Copyright 2016 by Reprinted by permission.

Taking Notes by Hand

Taking Notes by Hand ~ Lifeofjoy.meI read this article recently about a study they did about the difference in retention of taking notes by hand or using a laptop or other such electronic device.

Some would think that using an electronic device to take notes would be better because you can type faster than you can write and thus get more of the content into your notes for further review.

However what they found was that in order to take notes by hand you had to, basically, process/sort the information and determine what was important to take note of. This processing aids in the retention of the information.

It’s a short read, so I recommend you hopping over there and reading it (or at least scanning through it). I found it a valuable use of my time. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Book Suggestions and Lenten Read Aloud

March Reads ~ Lifeofjoy.meSeveral weeks ago I raved about the book Teaching from Rest and in the past I have talked about the Read Aloud Revival website. Well, I had forgotten that the two were both by the same lady, Sarah Mackenzie until I received (and read) a recent email from her.

She recently sent an email with a list of picture books for March. I thought it was a great list and would share the article link with you today.

Some of the books she shared are “funny” books. I didn’t recognize very many of them. Two books that I read to my kids when they were young were Fox in Socks by Dr. Suess (pronounced Soyss) and Stand Back Said the Elephant, I’m Going to Sneeze by Patricia Thomas. Both of these had me laughing as I read them. They were not on her list though, so I thought I’d suggest them to you. :)

And finally, another book I have not personally read but think it would be a fun read is by the same authors of the wonderful advent stories I’ve shared about before. The story is Amon’s Adventure by Arnold Ytreeide. Bear in mind that I have not yet read this one but it is set up like the advent ones and are to be read throughout Lent which starts the week of March 3rd and goes until Easter. :)

Well, that’s it for me today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Help for Homeschool Moms

Sarah over at My Joy-Filled Life is hosting a month long series for helping homeschool moms. It appears that each day she or one of the blogger friends are posting a helpful post.

She also has a bunch of sponsors. The actual post links are below those sponsor links. I recommend scrolling past them for now and jumping right to the article links. (I think you can guess that I’m not affiliated with this at all. ;) )

I saw that there would also be some freebies and giveaways throughout the month. So, head on over and check it out. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Blind Date with a Book

Blind Book Date ~
Probably should have used a few more words but I did it quickly. ;)

Have you heard of Blind Date with a Book? I hadn’t until Tiffany told me about it when I was contemplating what to write for today’s post.

It looks like this was the idea of Karissa, a librarian in Canada. You can read about how she did this here. From what I’ve gathered, she wanted a different kind of display for Valentine’s Day and came up with idea to wrap the cover of a book with brown craft paper and give some key words to describe the book. As she said, the descriptions were kind of like a dating ads. The idea is to get people to try out a book based on the keywords, not on the cover. It seems that she started this back in 2015.

There is actually a company that sells books this way, except that they are completely wrapped and you must unwrap them to read them. I think this takes away from the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ aspect though.

Karissa said that she was playing with the idea of a ‘what did you think’ form to get some feedback from patrons. Another library in Virginia took off with that idea and included a ‘Rate Your Date’ questionnaire in each book and enticed patrons to fill them out and return them to be entered for a prize drawing. :) What fun.

So, are there some books you have wanted your kids to read but didn’t want to just make them read them? How about covering several different ones, putting some key words on the cover, and letting them pick one to read? It could be biographies or fiction or even easy picture, whatever books you want to dress up and make a fun ‘game’ of it with.

If you are part of a homeschool group, you could do this as a group. It could either be done as a secret santa kind of thing or as a book loan, where the owner of the book has their name in the back to be returned at the next gathering.

If you give this idea a try, let me know how it went.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I came across this really neat idea for some YA books. I don’t know about the books themselves but I thought the approach was quite well thought out, to enable the blind date with a book virtually. When you click on the ‘ad’ you liked, you are taken to the book on amazon. I loved her descriptions/ads


Scheduled or On-Demand

scheduled or on demand ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was one that believed you “don’t wake a sleeping child.” This led me to feeding on demand, as in when the child was hungry. However in recent years I have had my thoughts challenged and am now leaning more towards a scheduled child.

One of the reasons for this is that I’m finding that even I can get on a schedule and by doing so, train myself to be hungry at those times. And if I should be hungry sooner, I can always practice a little self-control and drink some water to help tide me over until it is time to eat again.

Some of this realization has stemmed from the book, Bringing up Bebe, which I have talked about before here and here. But I must admit that I woke my babies up during the daytime when they were newborns and threatening to get their days and nights mixed up. So even in that I was scheduling to a degree. And when it seemed that my child would nurse around the clock, I put them on a semblance of a schedule and was thankful when it was successful.

The benefits to having a scheduled child is that there seems like there would be less frustration and tantrums, once the child is scheduled. Of course, ensuring that your child can sleep any where would be a good idea unless you want to be bound by your schedule daily, even with naps and such. One way to accomplish this is to avoid the tendency to be quiet during nap time but also avoiding doing the same thing every nap time. Basically, you want to keep things varied, so that your child does not need his/her environment to be any particular way to be able to sleep.

Schedules and routines are tricky things. They look binding but are freeing. In giving a child a schedule, they know what to expect. They cannot tell time yet but they know that after lunch, it is nap time/quiet time or after a bath in the evening it is story time. These things can give a child security.

Remember, you are the parent. You set the schedule. And consequently, you can choose to change things up as you desire. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Raising Imitators

Like father like son ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhether you think about it or not, you are raising imitators, especially when you home educate your children. In reading Teaching from Rest, that I urged you to read, last week I was reminded again that we as parents should model what we want our children to do. Nobody wants to just do something because they are told to do it but children like doing things they see others doing.

In Teaching from Rest Sarah quotes Andrew Kern of CiRCE Institute, “Teaching is the art of being imitated.” This thought struck me, as I was thinking about it in regards to school teachers but then I remembered what I’d learned so long ago about modeling and making disciples.

I guess I just wanted to remind you that your children are watching everyone they come in contact with. Many they will imitate. It is important to be cautious about those they are around the most–are they acting in a way you want your children acting. Are you doing things you want them imitating?

I’ve written about this before when I spoke about Mother Culture, but it is just as important for fathers.

When my children were very young I’d let the watch some shows on PBS. One of those was Arthur. After a while, I realized that I did not like how Arthur and his sister DJ interacted–it was not behavior I wanted my children imitating. I stopped allowing them to watch that show. How do the characters in the shows your children watch behave? Is it behavior you want your child to mimic?

Just something to think about.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Homeschooling Must Read

Homeschool Resource ~

I was at my youngest sister’s house one day last fall and saw that she had this book. I was interested, so I requested it from our local library.

I have to say that this book is wonderful! It would have been such an encouragement to me in the days that I educated my children.

I cannot recommend it enough! It is a short book, an easy read, and very helpful. I will be purchasing a copy to put in my library and will be shared with others as the Lord brings them to me.

Do yourself a favor: Get this book and read it and read it again. :) It is not very expensive either. I have found it for as little as $8 and for about $12 on Amazon with prime shipping. I even saw it as an audible book.

I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and pick this book up, even if just from the library.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Powerful but Nearly Forgotten Key

Don't forget ~

Mom had knee replacement surgery last week. The next day following the surgery the physical therapist was running her through some of her exercises and was trying to tell her what to expect over the next 24 hours. He said that her leg would begin to wake up and it would be the most trying time with pain and that she’d need to stay ahead of the pain with the meds. Well, Mom was polite and nodded her head signalling that she had heard him and understood what he was saying but after he left she asked me to agree with her in prayer that she would NOT have what he described. She told me that she’d been doing great, thanks to God and all the people praying for her and she was not going to accept his negative report. :) (So proud of my momma!)

The next day before she was discharged from the hospital, she gladly notified that same physical therapist that she did not have the pain he said she would have. Of course, he said he was happy for her but it wasn’t the norm.

I share all this to say that just because someone else or even a great number of people have a particular experience does not mean that you, or your children, have to have the same experience. Just because research has shown that a child at a certain age is defiant, does not mean that you have to accept your child being defiant.

Now I will admit that know that many children go through a stage where they do not share, can be helpful to you as a parent but that doesn’t mean that you accept it. I would suggest that you use such information as prayer points and to help you train your children.

It is so easy to forget the simplest and most important step to any child rearing situation: Prayer! Actually, it is easy to forget that step for any situation in life. It almost sounds trite but it truly is the most important thing we can do as we go through our life . . . ask God for His help and guidance through each situation.

If Mary Jo is constantly screaming, ask God what to do about it, to lead you to information about how to deal with it, AND to help Mary Jo stop screaming. You see you want to ask for wisdom in each situation but then also to ask for God’s direct intervention in the situation as well . . . look for the “easy” button . . . God helping out is definitely the easy option but you don’t want to be immobile either. Getting His guidance to information that can help is vital. Maybe she is hurting somewhere or maybe she is just being stubborn and wants her own way. There are a great many possible reason for any situation and the best bet is to ask for God’s help in finding a solution as well as His touch in your child’s life.

I hope that this has helped remind you of the simple thing that is super powerful. (Even I have to remind myself to pray about situations, and it is usually one of the first things I tell others to do. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº