Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

My Goal as a Homeschool Mom

goals ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn the early years, my goal as a homeschool mom was to have my children know God, what they believed and why, read, write, math, and know how to find answers to their questions.

I knew that there was absolutely zero way for me to teach my children everything they would ever need to know, so it was important for me to teach them how to find the information they need when they need it.

Growing up, I didn’t really know what I believed or why. My religion was more about the things I could and couldn’t do rather than knowing that God created the world, made man and placed him in the garden. Man sinned and needed a savior. Jesus came, lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and resurrected from the dead three days later.

If my kids didn’t watch or read certain things, I wanted them to know why. If they didn’t take things (drugs, alcohol, or smoke), I wanted them to know why. Most importantly, I wanted them to have a relationship with God themselves. This was the focal point of their education. Oh, they learned to read, write, and do math–sometimes even with tears. :D They even learned how to research and find the information they need, when they need it.

As they matured, it was important for me to turn the responsibility of their education over to them. I was to help guide them and provide materials but they needed to take ownership of it. This can be done by letting them choose the curriculum or, to some degree, the style or philosophy of their education.

Sean devoured science books in his final years. Tiffany worked on writing a book and learning about things concerning animals, gardening, and decorating a home, among other things. I made each of my children, in their senior year, be responsible for making dinner one night every week, so that they would be able to feed themselves well on their own and once they were married. Yes, even my boys; they can cook, they just choose not to. ;)

Homeschooling does not have to be hard and by no means does it need to look like schools. I think it is important to foster a love of learning so that they will continue to do so the rest of their lives, in some way. It is not good for anyone to become stagnant; we should all be continuing to learn new things.

I hope this helps, realizing that you don’t have to be everything and in charge of everything, as your child grows and matures.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Help to Overcome Disappointments

Overcoming Disappointment ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs a mom, it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many pulls on our attention and it can get difficult to get it all done. This can lead to disappointment.

Lysa TerKerst has a lovely, encouraging, free printable with twelve Biblical truths and declarations you can make to overcome disappointment. She even includes thoughts to reflect on and questions for you to consider (and even write out on the printable pages). It truly is an encouraging download. I hope you’ll go check it out.

These truths are even good to share with your children. They can be copywork and be used as a prayer to the Lord for you and your children. You could spread it out over about six weeks, doing one page a week. There are two verses printed out with two declarations and then a few more verses for you to look up yourself. You can do one verse each day and follow the example of the first two declarations/prayers to make your own out of the other verses.

I must let you now that I received this in my email completely free. I looked for it on the website to share with you and found that although it is still available for free, you do have to sign up for their email list. I recommend you do so, it really is encouraging. Click here to get it for yourself!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Homeschooling Styles

Homeschool Philosophies ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is a great day and age to home educate children! There are soooo many options! Actually, so many options that it can get down right confusing. There are even a lot of different philosophies about how to educate children.

I came across this website that does a good job of explaining the different styles and gives some pros and cons of each, as considered by the author. Now. I have to admit that I have not read all of the links but what I did I thought would be very helpful to explain the differences. Consequently, I decided to go ahead and share it with you today.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Styles

I hope this helps you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


A Study of Nature

When I went outside recently to take pictures of my mums, I found one of those hurtful sand burrs. There were a group of them still on a stem. I gingerly pulled the stem out of the ground, so as not to get them stuck in my fingers. ;)

sand burr stalk ~

I decided to share it with you today because look what I saw.

nature study ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat is a seed that was just coming out of the burr. What a great way to teach your children about the law of genesis or some might call it the circle of life. These burrs are the abominable “fruit” of this weed and the carrier of the seeds inside for it to repopulate.

As you can see then, fall is just as good a time to observe nature as spring. Many things are coming to the end of their productivity but some have sprung back to fruitfulness, like my mums. :)

Take some time to get outside and just really look at one little bit of nature, in minute detail. Pull up a weed by the root so they can see that as well.

There are so many other things to see at this lovely time of year. I hope you’ll get them outside to enjoy it. Maybe even have them take some pictures and then put them on a larger screen so that they can see it even larger and see details. Then maybe even draw, paint, or sculpt what they see.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Savor the Moments

I received this email from Lisa Jacobson, of the other day. I thought her words were so good and encouraging that I asked her permission to share them with you, here today. She graciously agreed.  I ask you to pay special attention to the part after the second picture (emphasis mine); it’s really so very true. Without further adieu, I give you her words.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Can you believe I was 40 when I had our youngest son here?

Lisa and Hakon 2018

And, yes, I had moments during the pregnancy when I wondered if this was such a good idea.

Wondered if I’d have the stamina to keep up with him.

Wondered if I’d wish I was free to do “other things” while home caring for him.

Now he’s 12 and I’m . . . (it’s okay, you can do the math :) )

And now I know. It was a VERY good idea.

I love how he makes me laugh.

Keeps me young.

Points out the fat rabbits on the lawn and the frogs in the flowerbeds.

He reminds me of the sweet and exciting things left in this world.

Lisa with Dauntless and Hakon 2018

So I find that, as an older mom, I’m less in a hurry.

I KNOW how fast the years go.

And I savor these moments with him in ways that, frankly, I regret not having done with the older ones.

But you don’t have to wait until you’re an older mom to learn these things.

Please don’t wait.

Decide today that you’re going to laugh (more than you cry).

Stop to watch the fat rabbits and hoppy frogs in your yard.

And remember the sweet and exciting things still left in the world.

Trust me. You’ll never be sorry if you slow down.

In His grace,


Lisa Jacobson

on IG: @Club31Women


journal writing ~ Lifeofjoy.meA couple weeks ago I shared a link to the Daily Fun Facts, which also includes a journaling prompt. Well, that got me to looking at journaling and its benefits. And, you guessed it, I’m going to share my findings with you here today.

This first article gives different journal types and some benefits of journaling. Did you know that journaling can reduce your stress and increase your health and memory? Yep, it can! :) The cool thing is that you can have a journal dedicated to just one thing or combine different types of journals into one and just vary what you decide to include each time you write.

This isn’t just something helpful to children. It’s helpful to adults as well. Why not take this opportunity to start your own journal and have a journaling time in your school day, where you and your kids journal. Theirs may have pictures with a sentence, poem, or even a paragraph or two written about the picture or write about how unfair you are. ;) In this article the author shares his experience with journaling and some benefits he’s gained from it.

Now this guy does admit that he switched to an electronic journal but I highly advise you to use pen and paper, as the actual writing makes connections in your brain that are good for you. (reference that first article again ;) )

Okay, not sold on journaling for yourself yet? Read this article. I know it is a bit lengthy but there really are that many benefits to journaling! I’m encouraged to do more of it myself. Gratefulness journaling sounds like a really healthy habit to start.

Still not convinced? Here’s an article with some more reasons and later in the article it shares ideas on how to grade a journal, if you decide to do that.

I remember one English class I had in school that required a journal entry daily. That was difficult for me because I was constantly stumped with what to write. The teacher did provide some time in class to do the assignment and sometimes gave suggestions or put on some music for us to write to, where we could write about what the music made us think about or create a short description or story that would go with the music. I remember one time the music reminded me of a circus and that’s what I wrote about that day.

So this article has some reasons to use journal writing with students but the real jewel of this one is the ideas it shares. It suggests that lists are easy for children to write and thus a great journaling topic. I shared in a post several weeks ago, towards the end of my post, a really neat list idea one homeschooling mom had for her child, that made writing it painless. ;)

And the final link I have for you today is one that has a list at the end of it with 33 journaling ideas.  I didn’t, personally, find the rest of the information on the page helpful but the journaling ideas saved it from getting cut from my list. :D

If these ideas are not enough, just search on any search engine, including Pinterest, and you will have way more than you need! :) But more than anything else, I hope that this post encourages you to journal more. Oh! And you can always let them decorate their cover like I shared yesterday. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Site with Lots of Ideas

Practical Pages ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have shared recently the art appreciation lapbook and other printables over on PracticalPages. As I browsed her website, I really like what I saw and thought I’d recommend it to you today.

Her most recent post is about art supplies that she provides for her kids, along with some tips on making arts and crafts time easier.

The post before that was about the differences between routines and schedules. This is something that I wholeheartedly believe in. She even makes suggestions about how to change things up so that you can fit in those extra subjects that can be hard to squeeze in sometimes.

And the post before that was about the Beatitudes and included a copywork printable page, as well as a memory verse game and slide strip available as a free download.

So, as you can see, this site has a plethora of good information. It’s not updated frequently but it has been around since September 2009, so there’s plenty of material to explore.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Daily Fun Facts and Journaling

Did you know ~ Lifeofjoy.meA few weeks ago as I was doing research for a Thursday blog post, I ran across an interesting webpage. I believe it changes every school day. The page is titled Daily Fun Facts.

Each day there is a quote or Thought of the day, a joke–albeit usually rather corny but fun, a random fact of the day, which is many times wacky, and a journal entry idea. I think if I still had children school age, I would incorporate this or something like it each day, just to add a little more interest/fun. Check it out: Daily Fun Facts

I hope this is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Art Appreciation

Art Museum ~ Lifeofjoy.eIt seems like I tend to focus here on things I did not focus on in our own homeschooling journey. Today’s subject is one such item. I wish I had spent more time on art and music appreciation but it is what it is and they are not harmed.

Art appreciation is a good practice. In my opinion it is not something that MUST be done all the time but is good for a well-rounded individual. If your child will need to go to college some day, then it is probably a good idea to be sure to include some art appreciation into their studies.

In my surfing recently I came across an interesting website: Practical Pages. She has a great Art Page! She has two lapbooks of artists and a sampling of their works. Even if you don’t usually do lapbooks, these are great because there are works of art for each composer. This could be spread over a couple of years or more. There are two free lapbook downloads that cover about twenty-seven artists. There are also some art and music timelines available to print out with ideas on how to use them. So cool!

Nadene of Practical Pages also shares about something she instituted that she calls Fabulous Fine Arts Friday. You can read about it here. It sounds wonderful; it became her children’s favorite day and one where they created a lot of wonderful memories.

One last thing, she also shared was how to make outline drawings of famous works on this page. Then she includes ideas of how to use these outline drawings. I think this is just great.

I hope you will enjoy these art appreciation ideas and that they will help you incorporate art and art appreciation into your homeschool journey.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Posture is Important

Perky Posture ~ Lifeofjoy.mePoor posture can cause a lot of health issues because it pinches nerves that should not be pinched. ;)

I had not idea I had such POOR posture. It wasn’t until I started doing an exercise video where the instructors talked about the importance of “perky posture.” Until that point, I thought I was good. Since viewing that information, I have realized just how poor my posture is.

I have also noticed that a lot of tall people have poor posture. I’m guessing it has something to do with them towering over people. But it is really not good for them. They need to stand up tall.

Here is how it was described on the video,  stand as if your hair is in ponytail on top of your head and they are pulling you up by that ponytail. When you stand up in this manner, your body comes into alignment and a natural kegel occurs. This is all very good for you. Your pelvic floor is strengthened which strengthens all the internal organs and helps your blood pump properly.

I encourage you, for your child’s health sake, take a look at how they stand and walk. If they are not owning their height, teach them to stand up tall. It also gives an air of confidence and that will serve them well. (Of course there is the negative, pride, that you should watch out for too, but that’s a subject for another day. :) )

Until next tie, God bless,

Michele ºÜº