Slowing Down as a Family: Perspective
July 10, 2019
In This Issue:
Mercy Every Minute  
The Solution for Family Stress: Family Rest!

Is there stress or strife in your family? When the family isn’t rested, there tends to be more stress and strife among its members. 

I don’t know about you, but our summer so far has been the busiest ever. In fact, we have been doing nothing but running around (all really good things, mind you). When I saw the topic today, it made me pause and think about how I can change all this running around into slowing the family down a bit. I need to intentionally plan the downtime. 

Family unity is pretty important. If all the activities are creating stress in the family, we may need to rethink our priorities and actually plan something different. As intentional moms, we tend to plan all the fun activities but forget to plan the downtime needed after each one. We see an open date and think it is okay to fill it. We may need to rethink that, especially if the family is stressed and needs rest. 

Perhaps some ways to restart and refresh (and still have some family fun) could be. . .
  • Create dates on your summer calendar that are only for family time (guard those).
  • Sit down family meals together at least 3 times a week with conversation starters.
  • Leave Sunday after church open for staying home and resting together.
  • Saturday night family BBQ with yard games or board games.
  • Plan family movie nights once a week at home.
  • Take a few days at home to listen to an audio book together as a family.
  • Set up a tent in the backyard and have a family campout.
  • Create daily quiet/rest times.
  • Everyone picks a personal favorite book to read for family reading time one night.
  • Don’t forget family devotions and family prayer—it binds a family together.

Creating consistent family moments become the memories the children treasure. They may like VBS, sports camps, field trips, and all the other things that keep us busy in the summer, but add some downtime with family, and these will be the most precious memories. 

Jesus knew His disciples needed rest; so He had them go to a remote and quiet place. Our families and little disciples need the same—in all of our planning, let’s plan that. 

“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31). 

I need to go and add some of these things to my planner. I am loving my Hey Mama! Planner—it is big and beautiful and has so many options for my school year planning. Here are some reviews, and you can purchase it here

~Deborah
P.S. If you're asking yourself  Why am I So Tired? , then check out our 3-part devotion on YouTube: Homeschooling and Rest
Slowing Down the Crazy

Hey Mom,

We've been traveling like crazy. We head out in the RV . . . get back, fly out the next weekend . . . get back . . . and then RV out again. In fact, I haven't had a weekend off since Easter and have been running since Sam's wedding in March. Add to that all that we're trying to cram in during the brief times we're home, and we're all ready for a break.

Just this past week we had a little respite as we spoke at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference in New Jersey for homeschool week.

We arrived bleary-eyed and worn out but left feeling refreshed and a little more connected than when we started. That's the thing about busy-ness; it distracts us from what really matters. I know that my wife and I have been so busy doing life that we've forgotten what it is just to be married and in love.

Slowing down allows us to reconnect and remember what matters.

That's why you need a summer vacation and a break from school. It allows you to remember what matters. It allows you to see your children as your children, not your students who are behind on their math, need to read a little better, or still have three chapters to complete in (fill in the blank).

And your children need to see you again as their mom, not as their school teacher who is always cracking a whip and pushing them to complete more.

So Mom, Dr. Todd is writing you a prescription to SLOW DOWN. Take the whole next week to just breathe, check a few items off your list, and do something summer-y with your children.

That's an order!

Be Real,
Todd

Jodi Riddle
What Is Your Perspective?

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines perspective as the following:

1. A glass through which objects are viewed.
2. The art of drawing on a plane surface true resemblances or pictures of objects, as the objects appear to the eye from any distance and situation, real and imaginary.

Every family has its own structure. That is how God created it, and He gave you a family that is unique to you. So many times, we stand behind that glass (as described in the first definition) and attempt to do what we “view” all the other families doing.

We enroll our children in sports, classes, lessons, church activities, and the list goes on. We soon find ourselves busy—too busy. The family no longer has time to spend together. We shorten, or completely stop, the time we spend with the Lord. We spend more time in our vehicles running here and there and less time in our homes. Anxiety sets in and we become exhausted. Sound familiar?

Consider the second definition. Consider drawing on a piece of paper an accurate picture of all that your family is doing. As you are viewing it (from any distance and with every situation) is it a “real” representation of what your family can handle? Sometimes, when you take the time to get the true perspective, you quickly realize that you don’t need all the busyness. There is nothing wrong with having children participate in things or going places once in a while. However, you should always control the things; they shouldn’t control you. 

Sometimes slowing down as a family is just putting into perspective the things that are right for your family. How is your family doing? Do you need to slow down? Learn to put things into a realistic perspective because you only have one chance to raise the family God has given to you. 

Jodi has been with TOS since April 2016. She serves as a Operations Manager and is also the  Homeschooling with Heart  blog manager. Jodi is a pastor’s wife and has three adult sons. She homeschooled for eighteen years and also taught in the private and public-school settings. Jodi enjoys teaching, playing the piano, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her heart’s desire is to help others learn to enjoy these things as well!
                                                                          
Fall 2019 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is available for pre-order now! Read about careers in art and photography, tips for reaching the reluctant writer, how to take field trips at a discount, and much more! Ships September 1 st!

The Years Go By Fast

Do either of these scenarios sound familiar? You're in the grocery store and realize you are missing a child, while your toddler is in the shopping cart throwing a fit. Or while shopping with a baby strapped to your chest and spit up in your hair, you get stuck in the canned food aisle, putting your older child in perpetual time-out. And you haven't had a good night's sleep in weeks

That's when the white-haired old lady with a small basket of fruit walks by, smiles, and says, “Enjoy this time. They grow up so fast.”

You look around and wonder if she could truly be talking to you.

Just about that time, you find your missing child. She's at the end of the aisle, staring at a dozen cereal boxes, splayed across the floor—which is perfect because you only have twelve minutes to shop, and it will now be spent apologizing to other shoppers, as you and your no-longer-missing daughter pick up the boxes, all while you remind her for the millionth time that your family doesn't eat this kind of cereal. And it's time to get home.

Just me? I didn't think so.

You've heard the saying, “The days go by slowly, but the years go by fast.” It's one of those sayings meant to perturb harried homeschool moms everywhere.

Except, it's true.

I have two adult children, and two on the brink of adulthood. My hair isn't quite white—yet—but I feel a lot like that older woman in the grocery store trying desperately to encourage moms in the midst of the crazy moments. They don't last— they fly by!

When we homeschool, the days truly can seem like they stretch on forever. There's so much to do, and so much curriculum to get through. Sometimes, we schedule eight million activities for our little ones and we end up driving all over the city on a daily basis.

So, now that we've established that I've got one foot in the homeschool crazy and the other foot in the empty-nest grandma-hood, take this with a grain of salt:
  • It's ok to slow down.
  • It's all right if you play a game today instead of doing handwriting.
  • It's all right to go for a hike in the arboretum and talk about the trees you see or walk on the beach to look for shells.
  • Take this Saturday and go on a day trip to a waterfall, museum, or creek.

One day, your kids will be too busy to walk on the beach with you; they won't be around to play a game, and you'll be day-tripping with just your spouse. It comes faster than you think it will.

Because, the years go by fast.

Danika Cooley is an award-winning  children's author and the developer of the popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum. Grab your free  Sample Pack here .
California

Look What's Happening!

Christian Home Educators Association of California - The 36th Annual CHEA Homeschool Convention will be held on July 11-13, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Visit www.cheaofca.org for more information or contact them at CHEAinfo@cheaofca.org
Texas

Look What’s Happening!

Texas HOME Educators is inviting you to attend the Summer Summit on August 3, 2019 at Midway Baptist Church in Kountze, TX. The four sessions of the Summer Summit are faith, friendships, food, and fun. These four f's are the ingredients for a happy homeschool mom. Contact Susan Reed, susanmreed22@gmail.com for more details!

Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!
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Spending time together has always been one of my favorite parts of summer. It’s the perfect time to rest, regroup, and reenergize. As a member of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you have access to many ways you can do this. For example, you could work together as a family to learn a heritage craft, learn about canning and processing food, try new methods of cooking, read books together, or even watch a video. All the options are right at your fingertips. 

If you haven’t joined SchoolhouseTeachers.com, come give us a try! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at bhudson@TheOldSchoolhouse.com. Discover the wealth of materials available right at your fingertips at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. 


Bonnie Rose Hudson
Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com
A division of The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine
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Contest Corner
For the Month of July



Color Thru History™ - The People of Early Civilization  is a Learn & Color Book where students learn about the top historical figures in early civilization while coloring. This 96-page workbook has thick pages with a blank page opposite the coloring page so that whatever coloring tool you choose to use you do not have to worry about bleed-through. You can buy books individually or subscribe to receive the monthly selection of Learn & Color Books.

Learn & Color Books launched in 2018 to develop coloring material for children and adults . Learners of all types can benefit from this workbook. Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC said, “ Coloring utilizes both hemispheres of the brain, right and left. When we are thinking about balance, color choices, applying coloring pencil to paper, we are working on problem solving and fine motor skills…”. Because there are no assignments, questions to answer, or tests to take students can relax and enjoy learning about each historical figure and then coloring something related to their life.

For the life of Abraham section, you see the time he lived and a description of the main points of his life. Here’s part of it: “ Abraham, born Abram, was the tenth descent from Noah. He married Sarai, who was barren…God makes Abram three promises: a relationship with God, uncountable descendants, and land…Sarah conceived a child, whom they named Isaac…Abraham is known as the Father of Israel.” The page that the summary is written on is in brilliant, full color with pictures and a map. The timeline is at the bottom of the page. Opposite this page is the coloring page that has a written text in bubble letters that says, “ I will bless those who bless you.” Once all the coloring pages are complete the coloring pages can be taken out and you are left with a great history book.


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