Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

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

Subtly Observing for Anxiety, Depression, Pain, and more

I wish I would have known what I know now, when my kids were young. Tiffany has learned in recent years that she fights anxiety and depression and has for many years. Of course, I feel horrible that I was oblivious and that she suffered so much.

I asked her how I can help others. We talked about it a bit and have some ideas for future help but I felt the need to bring this topic up now. I am not a very observant person. I play hidden object games to help me in this area but I’m not sure it is helping. :D Any way, she said what she recommends is just simply observing your child.

Observe your child

Watch them. See how they react under different situations, different times of day, after eating different foods. Even take notes to refer to later. Observe how they act or what they do in social situations, as well as before and after being social. Do certain social situations make them nervous or anxious? Do they get ‘drained’ by being with certain people or all people? Do they need to recharge upon leaving a social situation?  And for girls, as they approach puberty, you will need to observe them over longer periods of time, looking for hormonal cues.

After taking time to really see your child, you can ask questions–kindly, inquisitively–be sure they understand that there are no right or wrong answers and that you really care about them and their answers. Are they in physical pain? Is it more than growing pains? Do they sit in a way that causes pain?

Gently Ask Questions

If your child is old enough, consider having him/her keep a journal, noting their feelings and any physical symptoms. Keeping a food diary can be a good idea. Then ask your child to share it or some of it with you, so that you can better understand them and what they are dealing with, as well as hopefully provide some insights or help in some way.

Noticing trends of behavior can help you help your child.

Please! Take some time (a week or so), pray about and for your child, and really observe him/her. I wish someone had advised me to do this; maybe I could have helped Tiffany deal with anxiety and depression earlier in her life.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Ps 103 Songs

I bought this inductive Bible study several years ago when I went to a homeschool convention. It was $10, which I thought was a bit pricey but my sister bought one too so we figured we could each do both of them, so not such a bad price then. :)

The one I got was Psalm 103. I’ve loved this psalm, or at least the first several verses ;) , for a very long time so I thought it would be nice to delve into a study of it.

As I read through the psalm again, I found myself singing an old song with that first verse as its basis. Then I looked at the next lesson and was directed to listen to some other songs with this psalm in it. There was supposed to be a webpage on their website with links to all the ones she listed but alas, the page was no more, nor could I find it on the archive. So, I set out to locate them myself and decided to share it here with you. I hope you find some you like. :)

This first one is THE one I hear in my head when I read verse one. It is the one I grew up with. Bless His Holy Name by Andre Crouch. (Here’s one from Your Living Manna broadcast that included the Crabb Brothers, which is my favorite part of this one. ;) It is unrehearsed/impromptu and includes a few bits of a few other good songs.)

This one is probably my favorite in the whole group--I Won’t Forget by Anthony Evans.

Of course this one is another favorite, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

Clint Ross put this version together with Matt Lavender, which I also like a lot. The study mentioned a good video to put on in the background while doing other things but this one isn’t long enough for that, in my opinion, so maybe she meant this one which has around 30 songs on the playlist.

Here are some more:

Don’t Forget His Love sung by Ellie Holcomb

This one is a bit more folksartsy: Psalm 103 by Sons of Korah

This one is from Brush Arbor. I loved that group back in the 80’s. :)

Here is a men’s glee club singing the arrangement by J.Q.Mulholland. There was another college men’s choral group singing it too.

Although this one is a bit . . . it has the entire chapter included in this rendition and is KJV. It’s not that great but it is all there. ;) They have over 50 of the psalms put to music.

This one has the words and chords to this version by Sovereign Grace.

Here is the same song by Zach Jones on the album Fuse, with lyrics; I have to admit I like this version better than the previous rendition. I really like this one a lot. :)

So that’s it, the list of a dozen plus songs with Psalm 103 in it. I was really surprised to see so many. It makes me want to search youtube for songs for more scriptures now. :)

Until next time, Bless the Lord,

Michele ºÜº

Cool Website and Free eBooks

First I have got to share this website that I found recently. It is DIY Homeschooler. There are good units to study, reading lists,  some guides, and even suggestions for each month. It is a really neat website!

Free on Amazon

I also wanted to share how to find free eBooks. You can go to amazon.com and type free books in their search bar. When the results come up, you want to ensure that it does NOT say Kindle Unlimited because that is a subscription thing. But any that just say $0.00 can be gotten for free, as long as that is the price.

If you don’t have a kindle device (the paperwhite is wonderful) you can download the free kindle app to read the books on whatever device you have, be it laptop, desktop, ipad, or phone.

When you type in “free books” you can also specify for kids or for certain ages. (It will put some suggestions for you to choose from.) There are a good supply of free books classics. These change so be sure you click to buy them while the price is still $0.00 and verify it again before clicking. :)

Free on Libby or Overdrive

Many libraries participate in Overdrive, which lets you borrow digital content in the form of ebooks and audio books. You sign in with your library card. It is really a great free service.

I don’t prefer electronic books but am sure glad to have them available when I cannot get to the library. :) There are other resources available for electronic reading that I’ll share another time.

I hope these resources are helpful to you and give you some good reading material. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Preparing for Easter ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Easter is Coming

Easter is just around the corner. Take some time to study this special time with your children this year. Many kids are home with their parents that are not generally there as much, because the schools have closed for now because of Covid-19. This gives families some extra ‘together’ time in which they can talk about the specialness of this season.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is celebrated this Sunday. Here are the passages that correlate to this time.

  • Matt 21
  • Mark 11
  • Luke 19 (beginning :29)
  • John 12

I recommend keeping it in context, so back up as far as you feel is necessary to keep it straight. Then I recommend just continue reading on throughout the week.

Jesus’ Final Passover

These are the scriptures that include the final days of Jesus’ life. They are not easy to read but so powerful and necessary. The chapters and verses between the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and the final Passover scriptures below happened all in the same week, at least as I understand it.

  • Matt 26
  • Mark 14
  • Luke 22
  • John 13

I had to remind myself that Passover is a week long celebration/observation with both the first and last days being big days. Since I have not observed Passover in the ways the Jews did, I forget this and what all went on during that time. (Maybe another study to be had. ;) )

Jesus’ Arrest, Suffering, and Death

These are the chapters of the account from the night of the arrest through to the death of our Savior. Most of these accounts have the arrest in the same chapter as the last supper but notice that there are five chapters in between the two events in John. Seeing as John was one of the closest to Jesus (along with his brother James and Peter), I think these give some special insight into that time. So many times when verses are mentioned in these chapters of John, it is forgotten when they were spoken.

  • Matt 26 (beginning :47)
  • Mark 14 (beginning :43)
  • Luke 22 (beginning :47)
  • John 18

Resurrection Account

Here are the passages that share the testimonies of the resurrection itself.

  • Matt 28
  • Mark 16
  • Luke 24
  • John 20

I enjoy reading about the interactions with Jesus after His resurrection! This is further proof that He is Alive and Risen from the dead. :)

I hope this breakdown is helpful to you and your children this year. You may need a bit more planning for your Easter baking, so you might check out these past pages too.

Here are my other Easter pages, which include ideas for little ones too.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful time celebrating our Lord.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Links for P.E., Art, and More While Homeschooling and Any Time

This week I saw this link for The Body Coach who is offering free P.E. videos every weekday. They are about 30 minutes long. I watched just a bit of yesterday’s video. My connection to the internet wasn’t that great, so I didn’t check out the rest.

It is a new series he’s started this week. I’m not sure where he lives but I’m pretty sure it’s not the USA, so watching it live streaming would be difficult but you can always watch the recording.

Free Video P.E. Class on YouTube (click here)

Art

I found this webpage that has her favorite dozen of art channels with descriptions of each. There are channels with short videos around 3 minutes long for those with short attention spans, one teaching how to draw without distracting chitchat, and so much more, including calligraphy with crayons and even how to trick the eye. There really is something here for most everyone and she’s already sifted through and found the top ones. :)

12 Free Art Lesson Channels on YouTube (click here)

Online Resources

Now this one is a little bit questionable, but worth looking into, because it is aimed at people in the UK, so there may be some things that aren’t usable here in the USA. But the links were interesting enough I wanted to share them with you today, in case they may be helpful to you.

10 Online Resources to Check Out

Well, that’s what I have for you today. I hope it is helpful. It’s supposed to be in the 90’s here today, which I am not looking forward to. So I’m going to try to keep cool.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Health Unit Study Suggestion and Online Resources

I’m sure you are talking with your children about proper hygiene right now. Maybe it is time for the homeschooler to do a basic/generic health study. ;)

  • Find out why hot water is needed for proper cleaning of the hands.
  • Run a stop watch while they sing which ever hand washing song they choose, to know how long is long enough to wash the hands.
  • Find out why you shouldn’t touch your face.
  • Why should you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze? Why not use your hand to do so?
  • Research what boosts your immune system and what foods have those nutrients.

Here’s an interesting article on the value of fresh air and sunshine from the experience of the flue in 1918.

Here is an interesting compilation of links for all kinds of things to do, from virtual field trips to youtube channels to zoo cams to art to stories. This is really a great list of suggestions/links.

I hope these ideas and links are helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Living Books for Different Subjects

I pinned this link to a cool webpage where she shares some great living books for several different subjects. I won’t write a lot today so that you can hop over there and check it out.

Here is the link to World Geography with Picture Books. Now, don’t just limit this to using with the youngest children; I still like a good picture book. I see quite a few on this list that I’m familiar with and enjoy.

On this page of the same website, there are lots of links to books by subject including math, science, and even Bible and character study. I remember now that I found this site from a link my sister used for USA Geography books, so be sure to check that out too.

I hope this is a blessing to your home and that you find many books to enjoy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Read Alouds and More

I just stumbled upon a very interesting website that I want to share with you. The particular page I’m sharing today is about read alouds. You may be aware that I love read alouds and find that they have a wonderful place in home education. I know that some of my children’s favorite memories of homeschooling include our read alouds.

One of my keys when reading was to give each character their own voice. When I read The Wilder King Triology, which I highly recommend, and I got to the third book, I came up to another new character/group of characters, and was at a loss as to what voice to give them. I ended up going with a very southern twang. Tiffany says that is how she reads it every time still. :D

This page has some ideas on how to keep kids attention and quiet during read alouds. I intend to spend some more time looking over the website, it looks interesting.I hope it is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Lent: Easter is On Its Way

In just a little over six weeks it will be Easter or Resurrection Sunday, as many Christians prefer to call it. :) It is one of the two most important holidays in my year because it celebrates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead bringing us eternal salvation, if we believe on Him.

Preparing for Easter

In the weeks leading up to Easter it is good to put our focus on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Did you know that if you read 3 chapters of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) each day, you will read through all of them in a month? That covers most of what the Bible tells us about Jesus and what He has done for us. (Since Easter is 6 weeks away, you could read two chapters five days a week and get them all read before Easter.)

So how will you prepare yourself and your children for the approaching holiday?

I remember doing an inductive Bible study with my kids one year during advent (before Christmas). I really enjoy inductive Bible studies with all the marking of symbols and such. Here’s a sample of what one is like. I’m sure you could do the same thing on your own, without having to worry about if the study was going to lead you into the author’s beliefs/interpretations.

Easter Study Links/Ideas

  • YearRoundHomeschooling has a nice study with videos (linked), art, poetry, music, and craft idea links. I find the art and poetry to be interesting ideas. She has some printables linked too as well as some products (some of which are free) in that section.
  • CreativeBibleStudy has a nice 10 lesson study for Easter. It has a passage to read with a few focal scriptures to write and then usually some questions. It is a short study and doing one to two each week will have you completing it by Easter. I really like this one. :)
  • If you have littles and you subscribe to totschooling.net, you can get their free Easter printables, although this one is not really focused on the holiday as far as Biblical but still useful.
  • TheFrugalHomeSchoolingMom has some links for some Easter (biblical from what I saw) ideas.

I have past posts for Lent and Easter/Resurrection Sunday but I’ll save those for another week. (If you want to check it out ahead of time, just type lent easter in the search bar above and it will show you posts I’ve written with those words.)

I hope this helps you keep your focus on the Savior this season. I’m off to figure out what I’m going to be doing. I’d love an inductive Bible study. ;)

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

How to Stop Saying No

Tiffany and I watched this video on youtube by a mother that uses the Montessori method with her very young children (baby/toddler, and preschool age). It amazes me how someone can be such a ‘helicopter mom’ and allow them to be so incredibly independent at the same time.

At any rate, she talked a bit about how she redirects her children when they are getting into something that she doesn’t want them to get into. As she was sharing, I really liked how she found a different way to tell her children no without saying the word no. Children hear the word directed at them so often when they are little that it is frequently their most used word, which can be very frustrating.

Be sure to have positive interaction

I decided to look around and see what I could find to share with you today. One thing that I found was that parents need to remember to give positive words to the child. Make sure you are taking time to smile and show approval overall. This starts early in a child’s life. Then because you’ve given ‘yes’ looks, the child should notice a difference in a ‘no’ look or a look of disapproval, without you even having to say no. It’s an interesting idea. I know that I didn’t compliment my children enough–I gave them plenty of love though. ;) (Disclaimer: I do not agree with everything presented on these pages but there are some good ideas and good information too.)

Along these lines, I found some interesting ideas on this webpage: How to Say No

Offer Alternatives

Sometimes we tell a child no but could instead offer an alternative, you cannot have this but you can have this.

More Ideas (webpages)

  • This one has some good tactics to use. I really like some of these ideas and think they can be very helpful. Of course, it takes a lot more thought than just saying ‘no.’ ;)
  • This one talks some about what kids hear, when they aren’t completely focused on what you’re saying and then gave examples on how to word things to compensate for this. Very interesting! There is even a page to print out to help remind you.
  • Finally this one has some different alternative statements and ideas that I found interesting. It has a printable too. :)

I hope these help you have more positive conversations with your children and help get you through the valley of “No.” :D

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº