Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

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

One of the Best Things You Should Teach Your Children

Diligence ~ Lifeofjoy.meI love it when God gives me a blog post during church services. :) One of the sermons last Sunday was by Alan Taylor and based from 2 Peter chapter one. He especially focused on verses 5 through 10 and spoke on diligence and overcoming discouragement.

Diligence is what stuck with me. As Christians we are to be diligent and add things to our faith. Here are some notes I took:

  • Diligence is the ability to do what you don’t want to do. (Wow, this is so true. It is because I know I’m supposed to do something that I do it, even if I don’t feel like it. I know I need to empty the dishwasher each morning so that I can have it available to fill with dirty dishes throughout the day and thus keep the kitchen clean. But I don’t always feel like emptying it first thing in the morning. )
  • Looking at verse 5, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” we see that we must start by being diligent and from there we add to it. (Diligence is so important in our lives. It helps us have a good work ethic, have a tidy home, be tidy ourselves, and is really key to having a successful life.)
  • Diligence can be passed on from parents to children! (He really had my attention. I realized how true this was and how in some ways I had done my children a disservice. I realized I needed to share this valuable information with you so that you can diligently teach your children to be diligent. ;) )

Teaching diligence can be done by giving your child chores they are responsible for completing. Now in the beginning it is to teach/train your child how the chore is to be done, so that they can meet the quality requirements for the chore but when possible, do allow for different methods. I say this because when Michael and I got married, one of the things I had to get used to was how he folded towels. I had been taught to fold them in half, half, and then thirds but he didn’t do it that way. His way made for wider piles but more towels could fit in a pile. Neither way was right or wrong. Years later when the children began to help me fold laundry, I decided that was one area I could allow some slackness of my methods because at least things were folded and not wrinkling in a basket.

All that to say, show them how to do it. Instruct them how to do it. Observe them doing it giving pointers as needed. And then let them do it but spot check to ensure quality control. When they don’t follow through with tasks assigned to them, there has to be some consequences because that is how life is. Maybe they have to take on an extra chore they already know how to do or maybe they get docked allowance or cannot have that special treat they like or get a shorter amount of time to play video games. You know your child and what works for them.

The point is to teach your child to be diligent in all they do. I made the mistake of not ensuring that Tiffany got her schoolwork done in a timely manner each day. This led to many years of her struggling with procrastination; whereas if I had been diligent to require that she get her school work done before doing other things, she probably would have had an easier time of it and not struggled so much with procrastination.

Well, I hope my ramblings on this subject spur you to consider how you can help your child develop diligence and if you feel you are lacking a bit, what you can do to be more diligent yourself. I know I have to have routines and make myself do certain things, like get dressed, make my bed, and empty the dishwasher early in my day, so that the day doesn’t get away from me.

If you would like to hear the sermon that inspired this post, go to AlanTaylor.org and select the audio entitled, Diligence Keeps You On the Path to Your Victory, where he gives some tips on how to break out of discouragement too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Writing Tips and Ideas and Finding Outdated Links

I’ve been combing through some of my old bookmarks and such to find things to share each week. I have found some of them are missing. Thankfully, most things are not lost forever, thanks to the internet archive. :) You simply copy the link you were attempting to access, go to archive.org and then paste it in the Wayback Machine and click enter. It will open up a calendar page.

Internet Archive ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Click on one of the highlighted dates.

How to use internet archive ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sometimes it won’t produces any good results, so you click the left arrow.

Archive.org how to ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhich in this case will bring you to this page for the link I wanted to share. :) It is 15 grammar goofs. It includes words that are frequently confused with handy ways to remember which is the correct usage.

The other link I wanted to share with you today is a quick writing tip. The author found an easy, painless way to get her child, who normally bemoans any writing at all, to write effortlessly. She shares that having her child make a wacky list was the key. Head on over and read her succinct post. She also has a free printable with some list ideas for you. :) I think it’s a cute idea and will give your kids  fun writing activity to look forward to in their week. Hey, maybe one of the lists they could make is a list of lists. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Year Long Travel Quest

travelling adventure ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere is a fun little activity to help teach your children some research skills and find some interesting places of the world. There are 36 weekly sites with clues and of course their answers. The goal is to identify the name and location of where the intrepid traveler Mrs. Waffenschmidt has traveled.

The first week I would talk about it with your child and work through it together. Probe them, see what their ideas are and give them ideas of what to search for, if they are stumped. You can also talk about how they could find the information without the internet. ;)

Here they have some ideas for how to use this in a classroom setting that you may be able to utilize but I’d just use it as a fun research activity for your kids.

Of course, this is a free resource online and as such, the answers are provided online also. So they do have some ideas if that happens.

I hope you enjoy this interesting geography study one place at a time. You could even use it as a jumping off point for other study if you so desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Don’t Get Too Busy

Busy ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen our children were teens, my oldest said he wanted to play basketball. We had moved to the country and were home focused. We have a basketball hoop out in the back yard. Yes, it has a dirt ‘court’ but to my thinking, if he really wanted to play basketball then he’d be outside playing and I told him just that.

He went outside and played for a very short time and came back inside. I knew if it was something that God wanted him to do, and something he really had a strong desire to do, he’d be out there practicing, either early in the morning before it got hot or in the evening after it cooled off in the summer. I was willing to put in the time and money needed if he showed it to be a strong desire but I was not willing to do so if he only wanted to play for socialization. I did NOT need to be that busy and spend that much money because he wanted to hang with friends. ;)

I encourage you to take a look at the extra curricular things you and your children are considering for the new school year and determine if they are something God wants for them or if the activities are simply good things to do but not really necessary or really profitable for each child.

I read this article recently that had some good points about busyness and such. Much of the busyness is our own making and we put added stress on ourselves by rushing around getting places. It is a good article but there are a few unnecessary words; just needed to warn you. ;) One point he brings out is that people (including himself) are busy because they are afraid of being alone with themselves. Fortunately I am not like that, I enjoy peace and rest and even my alone time. :) The end of the article is really good!

I hope this encourages you today to take a fresh look at your commitments, pray about them, and following God’s leading as to which ones are important to keep and which ones, although good, are adding undo busyness to your lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Homeschool Free Resource

Homeschooling Resources ~ Lifeofjoy.meNearly two weeks ago, one of my favorite resources had a server meltdown and lost ten plus years of posts/resources. Although this is a horrible thing,  now is a great time for you to visit frequently and sign up for their email list where you will get exclusive links as well.

Monday through Thursday they will have new freebies but then on Fridays they will post 5-8 past freebies. The good thing about this is that they will probably be checking these freebies to ensure that they are still active, so you should not get any duds. :)

Oh, sign up for the email list right away because they will be sharing some links exclusively with subscribers. So head on over and check out Homeschool Freebie of the Day.

This week they’ve shared a dictation resource, a language arts resource and one for science, craft, and art projects. I’m headed to do some downloading, so I can check these out and save them for my kids use. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Are You Training Your Child or Is Your Child Training You?

Training Children ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is difficult to know when to begin putting your foot down with children. As babies, many times, we are the ones that are trained . . . they cry and we feed them, change them, hold them, put them to bed and so on.

I tried to get mine on a schedule as quickly as possible, mostly because I do not function well on little sleep. :D Filling their bellies and making them wait for about 3 hours before feeding them again trains them. Whereas waiting until they cry to be fed trains you. Hmmm . . .

It continues as they get older and begin wanting things. Our church is a family centered church which means that the children stay with the parent throughout the entire service and there is no children’s programs available. When my children were little, we sat in the back row near the bathrooms so that I could make a quick escape with a noisy child. My children did not tell me they wanted to go to the nursery; I didn’t allow it. They learned to sit and play quietly in the service.

If one of the children became noisy and me tapping them did not stop it immediately, we went into the bathroom where I corrected them and then we promptly returned to our seats.

One weekend I had my grandson in church with us. He is not yet two years old and this was last year some time as I recall. At any rate, we sit near the front and we did not change that this day. He got a bit fussy and loud, so I took him to the lobby and quieted him. When he stopped fussing, I took him back into the sanctuary but sat on the back row, in case I needed to escape again quickly, which I did about 15 minutes later. These are valuable times and worth missing the service if necessary for a few services to train the child that they must be quiet in service. I could still hear the speaker via the sound system, as I adjusted our little fellow’s attitude. He finally saw the light and we went back in for the remainder of the service.

This is how you train your child. If you are not training your child then you are the one being trained. Yes, sometimes it is easier just to give in and do what will keep them quiet in the moment but is that really teaching them the thing you want them to learn.

Also, giving them too many things to occupy them for the service time is not really training them to pay attention or sit and listen either. I do not believe a child should have an electronic device in a service; there are probably rare exceptions but is your child really an exception? Teaching a child to sit and write, draw, or color during service are a good idea. I even have some links to some printable listening pages you can print out for your children to use in services. There are even some set up so that pre-readers can use them.

Remember the Bible tells us to train our children not just to raise them. We also need to be setting good examples, being the best role models we can be for them. That means that you should be paying attention to the speaker too and not on facebook or doing something else on your phone. I know there are Bible apps on the phones now days, but if the temptation is too great to get sidetracked, maybe you’re better off with a printed Bible and notebook too.

I hope you’ve endured my rant and don’t hate me. :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Mother Culture

Refreshing ~ Lifeofjoy.meMother Culture is something I learned about when I was reading A Charlotte Mason Companion. It has been mentioned in a variety of ways in the homeschool community.

When I think of mother culture, I think about what a mother does. Not the mothering, wifeing, housekeeping, and such but the things she does for her. Now I’m not talking about going to a movie with girlfriends or getting a pedicure, although those things can and should be a part of your life. I’m talking about interests and continuing to learn; a continuing education if you will.

It’s important to continue growing and learning. Are you a musician, artist, crafter? Do you actively pursue these ventures? Do you take time to read each day? Do you make sure you have time with God every day, praying, worshiping, reading the Bible, just plain communing with Him on some level every day? I know it is easy to let this slip. There’s so much to be done but this is really one piece of your daily puzzle that you NEED.

Aside from spending some time, be it a few minutes or longer, in pursuit of God, you also need to be spending time doing something you enjoy and if it will nourish your mind, that’s a bonus. ;) It is good for children to see you doing these things. This way they see that you place value on them. If all your children ever see you do is work and watch television or spend time on social media, is that really the example you want them to follow?

Remember that you are making disciples of your children. They pay attention more to what they see than what they are told. Remember you are the most important role model in your children’s lives. If they see you pursuing God, knowledge, and profitable activities, they will follow suit in time.

I’m including some links here if you desire to find out more about Mother Culture.

After reading those articles, you will find that Mother Culture is also closely related to reading. It is suggested that you have three books going at any given time (other than the Bible), a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel. At any given time you read whichever one you feel like reading.

Tiffany has said that she finds it difficult to talk to new moms because she asks about them and all they can talk about their child. Although she loves hearing about the children, it also hurts her because she knows it is important that they continue to have pursuits of their own. Thankfully she’s read A Charlotte Mason Companion and is convinced of its value. I hope you are too.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Preparing For a New School Year

Bouquet newly sharpened pencils ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere in OK the schools begin their new year in about mid-August. This was always very odd for me because when I was young school never started until AFTER Labor Day. The first couple of years that we lived here, it caught me off guard when they got out of school about the middle of MAY! That was a bit frustrating to me because they were already out of school and we homeschoolers were still plugging away. I quickly realized my error and did some schedule shifting the next year. ;)

Because the new school year starts in August, July is school supplies month. I love school supplies. It reminds me of the line from You’ve Got Mail when he says he’d send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if he knew her name and address. Of course, I’d send sharpened colored pencils since they’d be prettier. ;)

At any rate, now is the time to watch the sales and stock up on pencils, pens, paper, glue, and pocket portfolios. Years ago I got such a good deal on spiral notebooks, I think they were just 17¢ each, that I’m still working through my stockpile of them. But I need to go through my stash and see if there is anything I do need to purchase.

I bought some tracing paper today. Sadly, it was NOT on sale and there was only one brand. It wasn’t even in the school supplies aisle but in the coloring craft aisle. I even asked an employee working in the area if they had any and she didn’t know of any at all. :( I need it for working on some lettering styles. I supposed to place the tracing paper over the page in my book and practice that way because I can then see through the paper and work on forming my letters.

Some of the items I stock up on are the yellowish-orange disposable mechanical pencils, papermate colored pens, paper of different types, notebooks, tape, and glue. I used to stock up on index cards and sticky notes and sticky flags. But I use my bullet journal for that now. What do you stock up on?

Of course, looking over any new curricula you intend to use is a vital step in preparation. Sometimes they suggest using specific office type supplies. Be sure to take a look at those recommendations now while things are on sale and save yourself some money. ;)

You might also think about what you can do to celebrate your first day back at “school.” (I’ll share some ideas in the coming weeks for first day ideas.) Will you jump in all subjects right away or ease back in slowly, one subject at a time?

Well, keep your eyes peeled for those wonderful deals.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Praying for Your Children

Prayer for Kids ~ Lifeofjoy.meI think one of the best prayers you can pray for your children is that God would give them the friends HE wants them to have. I prayed this for my children and it seems that God was even more selective than I was. ;)

Tiffany and I have joked about her being invisible in the past. To some extent it seems she still is. ;) I think it was a protection of sorts so that she didn’t get caught up with the wrong kids. Of course, it was not easy for her. I tried a number of things to help her make connections with others–homeschool gatherings, church gatherings, youth specific activities– but in the end, she was pretty lonesome. I did my best to make up for the lack of friends her own age and today we are the best of friends, for which I am exceedingly grateful.

She has turned this around in her life today. She’s a mature young lady that goes out of her introverted comfort zone and seeks out others at church. Through it all, she has found she is much more comfortable talking with older people than with people her own age. So many of the older ladies just love her and remark over how sweet she is. :)

I guess my point is that she turned a difficult time, a time where she was really “invisible,” into something good. She now seeks out others who seem to be alone and talks to them, making them a bit less invisible too.

I was reminded of the whole invisibility thing when I saw this article posted by someone on facebook. It contained an interesting and a bit familiar story. I felt it was worth reading.

I hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, you will remember to treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº