When Moms Cry
June 20, 2018
Hey Mama, 

This is kind of urgent; so I am typing fast—forgive any mistakes here. The urgency comes from the fact that I have heard you are in a heap of tears because the grief is a lot to bear right now. You keep walking yet troubles still come; today even, new problems are before you . . . and it hurts. It's pure grief! The pain pierces. Why is it piling up instead of resolving itself, you ask. Where is He? Where is our great God, our Savior?

Mama, I know it sounds like a broken record, but I am going to say it again and again— CLING to Christ. This is all happening for a reason, and there are many, many good things that will come from it. 

Need a reminder that God's got this—and God's got you? We all do. Take heart as you read these articles from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

And remember, Mama. . .

He works all things for good. God is not a liar. This is straight from His Word. Stand firm on it. Do not look to your left or to your right. Eyes on Him, sweet Mama.

And here's what I want you to do right now. Read Psalm 34.

Read it all, and do it slowly and out loud. You can read it to your kids or better yet, pull away for a minute, go into your closet alone, and just read it so your ears can hear it. Mama, you need to know about these passages (I vote for the closet if you can get away for a few minutes).

This part here—try to remember it. Commit it to memory, OK? 

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Did you hear that, Mama? THE LORD IS NEAR TO THE BROKENHEARTED. You are crushed, and that's when He is right next to you, as tight as can be. He's holding you even now, Mama. Go read His words and find comfort. It's not over. He wins. You win. This season will pass; I promise. Go read now, Mama. His hand is on your head, and He goes with you.
CLING to Christ!

- gena
The Power of Relationships and Books

I was a bone-weary traveler as I pulled up to the bed-and-breakfast in eastern Tennessee. Exhausted from the trip, I trudged up the stairs of the charming inn. Before collapsing on the bed, I decided to hang my clothes in an old-fashioned wardrobe. As I opened the wardrobe door, I stood there mystified and transfixed as I found myself peering into another room containing murals of a lion, two beavers, and a lamp post. I was in a suite designed with a Narnia motif.

In the brief moment when I opened the wardrobe door and realized this was no ordinary piece of furniture, I experienced for the first time how Lucy Pevensie must have felt when she discovered the wardrobe that ushered her into Narnia.

Regaining my bearings, I stepped through the wardrobe and into the Aslan Room, which had been created by the innkeepers to coincide with the movie release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a few years earlier. There I perused several illustrated Narnia books and lost myself for a while in that marvelous world created by C. S. Lewis.

That day I was reminded of the power of great literature not only to engross and entertain our children but also to shape their lives, hearts, and character. Lewis himself, in recalling his childhood, said he was the product of “endless books.”

Charlotte Mason once wrote an article entitled “Parents as Inspirers.” Relationships inspire children. Parental relationships especially inspire them. As parents, we need to focus first and foremost on raising our children to love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Reading is an integral part of this, as we teach our children to love and read God’s Word.

When you combine the power of books with healthy, dynamic family relationships, the results can be profound.

Zan Tyler is director of Apologia Press. Her life as a speaker, writer, and homeschooling advocate began thirty years ago when, as a homeschooling mother, she was threatened with jail by the South Carolina state superintendent of education. Zan founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools in 1990.

Katie Babbey
When moms cry. . . .

Oh, let me count the times. . . .

It might be easier for me to write about the times I don’t cry! Can you relate?

Here are just a few of the times in my life when I cry. I cry when I’m Happy, Encouraged, Anxious, Lonely, Teaching, Homemaking, and Yearning for God.

Happy – I’m sure you’ve all experienced several times over the years when you’ve been so happy the tears just naturally flow. For me, it’s been at the birth of my children, or when those same children years later fundraised to buy groceries for the local food bank. Or when they learned to ride a bike or conquer a fear. I like tears of happiness.

Encouraged – There are many times when I’m having a bad day, and I’ll receive an encouraging e-mail from my mentor. Her kind words will bring tears to my eyes instantly. Knowing that she cares enough to send me a note is just what I need to press on and keep going. 

Anxious – Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing,” yet this is the emotion I struggle with the most. In all stages of my children’s lives, I am anxious for their safety, their health, and their futures. I am such a cautious and anxious person that my closest friends tease me about being like Grug from the movie Croods!

Lonely – Even though I am married with four children, I still go through periods in my life when I feel totally alone. My mother passed away when I was 21, and my mother-in-law passed away when I was 26. Raising our kids without the help of our moms has been a very lonely experience. They are not here to see the milestones that take place in the lives of our children. For example, our oldest daughter will be graduating from grade eight this Friday, and they won’t be sitting beside me while I shed my tears of happiness. I miss having a mom, and I cry just writing this.

Teaching – I absolutely LOVE teaching my children and having the opportunity to teach them at home. Sure, some days can be difficult, and I can have crying moments over that, but I love the tears that come out of “teaching moments” and times of character building when I have an opportunity to touch their hearts.

Homemaking – Ah, yes, homemaking! I could cry right now just by looking around my house. I see baskets of laundry that need folding, dishes that need to be washed, a floor that needs to be scrubbed, and a dog that desperately needs a bath. Some days it takes everything in me just to get a few subjects of school completed while balancing the baby in my arms!
Scrubbing the floors will just have to wait until tomorrow—since everyone is hungry and asking, “What’s for supper?”

Yearning – With the busyness of life, I can easily get behind in my Bible reading, my prayer time, and writing in my journal of thankfulness. It’s only when I’ve reached a point of exhaustion, and I’m in a heap of tears that I yearn for God’s loving peace and comfort. He is very faithful and reminds me of the unconditional love He has for me.

So there you have it. These are the occasions “when moms cry.” These are the times I cry. I have used the acronym H-E-A-L-T-H-Y because it is good to cry. It is very healthy for us moms to cry. Crying relieves stress, shows others that we need help, and shows our children that we are human. We are not immune to trials and tribulations, but thankfully, we have a Heavenly Father Who never leaves us or forsakes us—and sees every tear we cry.

Be blessed. You are loved.

Katie Babbey lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and four wonderful children, ranging in age from fourteen to one. They have been homeschooling from the very beginning. Katie’s passions are one-on-one ministry, homeschooling, and sign language. Katie thoroughly enjoys working for The Old Schoolhouse® as one of their Canadian Advertising Sales Representatives.
Let Picture Book Explorers save you time and energy so that you can enjoy an exciting, hands-on learning adventure with your family.
Katie Furlong
Motherhood—It's a job with the longest hours, no pay check, and work that never ends. The job description always changes, and you are constantly learning new skills. You become an expert at your job of being a mother and knowing how to meet your kids' needs. It's a job that I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world and the greatest job I've ever had. I have been blessed to be able to homeschool my 4 children, learning and growing with them. Even with it being a wonderful and amazing job, sometimes we mom's cry.

We cry from tears of joy when we meet our child for the first time—sometimes that's after years of infertility and finally becoming pregnant. Sometimes that's after a long difficult pregnancy, and sometimes that's after giving a baby up and meeting them many years later. We cry tears of joy because the love is so strong.

Sometimes we cry when our children cry. We cry when they are sick or injured because we would give anything to take the pain away. When they get their heart broken for the first time, when they lose someone close to them, we cry with them.

We cry when our child scores their first goal or performs a solo in a concert for the first time. That overwhelming sense of pride in our accomplishments as a mother as our children succeed—we cry tears of joy, not always on the outside but tears of joy on the inside.

One day your children will grow up and get married. You will cry from happiness and sadness at the same time. On the surface, you will think they won't need you anymore, but you know deep down even adults need their moms from time to time. They might not need you in the same way that they used to, but your job isn't over as a mother; the job description has just changed again.

You will cry when you hold your child’s baby in your arms for the first time. Another job duty has been added to the list. You are now a grandmother.

You'll be a mother, and you will worry and love your kids until you take your very last breath, and sometimes you'll cry.

Katie Furlong is a busy homeschooling mother of 4 children. She is currently parenting at every stage: toddler, preschooler, tween, and teen. She has an Early Childhood Education diploma, is also a trained Montessori Teacher, and a certified Neurofeedback Practitioner. Katie and her 4 children live on a hobby farm where they keep bees, ducks, chickens, 2 lazy cats, and a big yellow dog. When she is not chasing children, she likes to fix up her 159-year-old farmhouse,  write , and cook to create new allergy friendly recipes. Katie may also have an  essential oil  addiction and need an intervention.
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Michelle Beazer
Why do we cry? For some of us the easier question to answer would be when don't we cry? Moms seem to have an endless capacity for love—love so strong—for her children and all the children of God, so strong she will cry in sadness and in joy and every emotion in between.  

You know what I mean, that time you were talking to someone you had never even met in person and were so moved by God working through you that you found tears on your cheeks with the sudden knowledge of how deeply God loves that precious son or daughter. Or the time you saw a young mother in a store struggling with several little ones. The compassion you had towards her and her tears of gratitude because you gave her some small (to you) act of service. 

Other reasons we can shed tears are pride (in our children) frustration, fear, nostalgia, or fatigue.

Kimberley Linkletter blogger from The VintageBlueSuitcase.ca offered these experiences:

"There are so many reasons, turning double digits, getting taller than you, or when someone approaches your child in a clothing store and asks if they are done school and upon learning they are homeschooled, ask them if they get to hang out with other children like at school for socialization! She followed this up by telling me what a pleasant, intelligent, and lovely boy my grandson is. He seemed to be behaving in an appropriately social way during this interaction :)"  

Raise your hand if you have had a similar conversation with a well meaning but obviously confused fellow shopper. . . .

The transition from 9 years old to 10 years old remind us how quickly these precious little ones are growing up. It's even more poignant as our youngest reach the highschool years.

Jen Mackinnon from PracticalbyDefault.com offered this experience:

When you realize you only have 3 years of homeschooling left and you are so not ready for this adventure to be over :(  

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling . . . It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” - Neil L. Anderson

Cherish your little ones, your big kids, and continue to cherish your grown kids. They need you.

Michelle is a Canadian homeschooling mom to four great kids including two on the autism spectrum, one of whom is the owner of NoveltyTrades.ca. She also has two adorable granddaughters. They have been homeschooling for 20 years. Michelle is the Marketing Assistant, Canadian Division, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
From lapbooks to learning guides to exciting Wild-West books, you’ll love these ready-made literature and language arts bundles for all ages.
Michelle Stanley-Higginson
This has been a perfect month—said no mom ever!

We strive for the best. We organize, clean, cook, wash clothes, drive, manage time, worry, explain, comfort, educate, do first aid, shop (not for ourselves of course), pay bills, do yard work, are available 24/7, wipe snot, clean up vomit, forgive, are patient, brush our hair if time allows, tend to bad dreams, and bend over to pick up the never-ending stuff on the floor. WOW!

Wait. Hold on. Back up. I think I am missing something really important. Let me think. Oh, yes! Care for ourselves—such an important part yet often not done.

We cry because we can’t do it all perfectly, the way we want it for our family. I know I have tried to be perfect. I think that lasted about 2.5 minutes. UGH!

Facebook—It has made me cry. It is awesome and irritating at the same time. I read some posts and ask myself, “Why can’t my family travel? Why can’t we buy brand name clothing?” Oh, right. Now, I remember. We don’t “work” (insert laughing face here).

Moms have needs, too. We need to be loved and nurtured also. We need a break. We need friends who get it. We need days when everything goes well. Having needs met can make me cry.

We also cry because of the overwhelming love we have for our children. Do you ever just look at your child and start crying? I know I have. I remember my father saying to me, “I love you so much it hurts.” It never made sense to me until we adopted our son.

We cry when we hear our children sing, when they are sleeping, when they laugh, when you see them being kind, when they have done something for the first time, when they succeed, or even when they are just sitting quietly.
The love. The best love. The love so deep. The LOVE is the best cry ever and—it's why moms cry.

Michelle Higginson is a stay-at-home mom whose passions include advocating and educating people on FASD, acting silly with her 8-year-old son, and creating rock art. She loves animals and often donates her art to animal rescues and other very deserving causes.
Rocks in my head creates stories and memories through art using rocks/sea glass/drift wood and anything else I can find on the beach. Each piece of art is displayed in either a 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 open face shadow box. Evoking emotions for people through art is my passion.  

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Stories are part of who God created us to be. Throughout history, people have expressed themselves through stories. So how can you find the best ones for your children to enjoy? How can you challenge them to read critically and examine what they are reading? How can you find fun ways to bring stories to life for your reluctant readers? Our courses and tools can help! 

Are you looking for reading lists for the summer? Check out our Monthly Book Lists for Families by Michelle Miller and Adventures with Books by Jennifer Smith. You’ll find lists on everything from Africa and Architecture to Travel and World War II. 

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Contest Corner  
For the month of June

Drawn to Discover is a unique online video drawing program that helps students develop fine motor skills and cognitive skills. This research-based curriculum also promotes language development. Drawn to Discover gives students confidence in their ability to succeed in art, handwriting, math, and so much more. The program provides a way for parents to interact with their children as they work their way through the program. There are multiple courses within the Drawn to Discover program that are available to users. The core of the program features the course, Drawn to Connections, which has Ten Blocks within the course. Each Block has on average ten lessons. The two other courses, Drawing Cursive and Drawn to Peace, are more supplemental courses.

Drawn to Discover has worked great for us, as homeschoolers.
This program is geared for the homeschool setting. For children in the school setting, this would also be a great enrichment program. The intended age for using Drawn to Discover is 4-11 years old. After speaking with the people at Drawn to Discover, I learned that children with autism have had great success with the program.

My 11-year-old daughter has fallen in love with Drawn to Discover! She is working through the Drawn to Connections course. She loves to draw but isn’t all that confident in her ability. She has used many different art curriculums and programs, and this one CLICKED! She cannot get enough of it. She will sit for hours doing lesson after lesson. She has shocked herself by what she has been able to accomplish artistically. Even though some of the concepts along the way are meant for younger students, it is easy to work around. While we are talking about elementary skills, such as the handwriting, let me let you in on a bit of a secret. My daughter is a bit sloppy when it comes to her handwriting. I was a bit giddy when I saw her meticulously copying a handwritten sentence out below her artwork. After hours of working through Drawn to Connections, I began to see an improvement in her handwriting! I have been shocked at the amazing artwork she has completed. She has learned about interesting facts relating to science, too. (. . .)

My 11-year-old daughter said,

Unlike other drawing programs, Drawn to Discover, helps you to draw step-by-step so that you know what your drawing is supposed to look like along the way. If what you are drawing doesn’t look right, you can pause the video, work on the drawing, and then restart the video when you are ready to begin again. My favorite drawing so far was the bee. When I drew the bee, I was amazed at how real it looked! Some of my other favorites have been the flower, goldfish, and dog. Another thing that I like about Drawn to Discover is that each lesson lists all of the things that you will need. I loved that I got to have my very own HUGE box of crayons of my very own. One lesson called for the following crayons: Orange, Dandelion Yellow, Asparagus, and Wisteria. Aren’t those just fun colors!” ( Read the rest of the review.)

YOU can WIN a Drawn to Discover Annual Membership for your homeschool!

TO ENTER: Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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