Saturday, April 28, 2018

Date Night - March Edition

In March, we finally attended a banquet that we've been wanting to attend for years. Of course we almost completely forgot about it, and thankfully my wonderful SIL and unsuspecting brother were available as last minute babysitters.

Yay for living so much closer now! And for wonderful family. I really have the very best.

We went to the RETA banquet where we had the privilege of listening to Davey Blackburn share his story and a powerful message about the importance of fathers. We also enjoyed some super delicious dinner and a little bit of fellowship with strangers and old friends.

RETA - Reason Enough To Act - has always held a special place in our hearts. Derek used to work part time there as a mentor to fathers. While he worked there, I got to help share some in parenting classes. The founder, Roxana, is an excellent employer, but even more so a wonderful human being. We're privileged to know her.

They're literally walking distance away from Planned Parenthood. The only reason to ever darken the door of Planned Parenthood instead of RETA is to get an abortion (I just censored myself there...) At RETA, you can get a free ultrasound (including a mobile unit), free pregnancy test, and access to Fairhaven OBGYNs. Not only that, there's biblical counseling for those who are recovering from an abortion, coaching and classes for parents, and a store loaded with necessities for new parents that can be earned through the classes. Oh, and if you're looking for someone to teach the real sex ed, RETA's got that too!

All that to say, our March date was at this banquet. And we think you all should get to know RETA and support this incredible ministry in whatever way God calls you!

Of course we didn't take any pictures so here's an adorable picture of my girls from March. They're so stinkin beautiful.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Favorite Benefits of Homeschooling

I was recently shown this article covering a public forum held with public office candidates. The question of homeschooling came up and I was utterly shocked by the responses.

I still feel downright appalled.

I guess it's just a testament to how we erroneously put so much faith in humans in office. They're fallible and sinful, just like the rest of us. And they don't know everything about all the things. In fact, these particular candidates clearly don't know a blessed thing about homeschooling.

It breaks my heart to think that these people could destroy our freedom to homeschool based on their complete ignorance. I'm seriously considering writing letters to give them an education.

But here, on my teeny tiny blog, I'm gonna go in a little different direction. I simply want to share some of my favorite homeschooling benefits.

While I am a HUGE fan of homeschooling, I'm not for one second going to claim I know what God has for your family. I'm confident that He hasn't called everyone to homeschool. I'm also confident He has called us to it.

Here's just a handful of reasons why I am so grateful that He has:

1. Homeschooling has given us freedom.

You know those super nice days last week? My kids and I got sun on our cheeks. My littlest two boys spent outside. We scrapped the usual and soaked up the unusual.

At one point we were headed to a park and we drove by a school that was just letting out. A long line of kids came strolling out, each child wearing winter coats, gloves, and even some with hats. It was 72 degrees. Marie asked why they were all bundled up. She couldn't believe that it was actually that cold out when all of these kids came in to school that morning. She slept through the morning chill and spent her whole day in shorts and a t-shirt. Outside.

I'm not trying to knock traditional school. But I've done excessive research on the benefits of spending lots of time outside, and it beats out classroom work tenfold.

There's not only freedom to close the books and head outside at any given moment, but there's also freedom to pursue subjects and passions that excite my kids. There's freedom to read extra chapters, or skip a lesson altogether. There's freedom to learn life skills like laundry, dishes, splitting wood, and painting trim.

2. Homeschooling has brought us closer.

My kids get along fairly well. Not always, of course. But they are each others' best friends. They do have other friends, trust me! It's not about their siblings being their only friends, by any means. It's about their siblings truly being life-long friends.

We're all about family, and homeschooling has allowed us to do life as a family. We cook, we clean, we read, we play, we travel, we laugh, we fight, we grow. While we could still do all of this on a much smaller scale if our kids spent their days at school, I'm grateful our family is a top priority, not just an extra at the end of the day.

3. Homeschooling is teaching our kids how to interact with all ages.

My kids are the only preschooler, prek-er, 2nd grader, and 4th grader in their school. Their whole lives have been spent with various ages even just within our immediate family.

It plays out outside of our immediate family, too. Marie has been known to take care of any toddling toddler she meets. Kempton can find a friend in anyone who has a friendly face, be it his Uncle David, his cousin Pax, his great grandma, or the random kid at the playground. My kids don't even comprehend the idea of spending an entire day with only peers.

I think that's a beautiful thing.

4. Homeschooling has given us lots of Jesus moments.

We believe that, as parents, we've been called to teach our babes about Jesus every chance we get. I know plenty of amazing parents who do just that even with their kids going to school all day. We just love that we have so much more time for it.

Of course sometimes homeschooling teaches our kids all about how parents are also imperfect and in need of forgiveness... a lot.

My point is, I'm there for the teachable moments. I get to be the main person to share Jesus with them. I love that other people at church and co-op reinforce these things, and that our kids are able to learn about our Savior from a variety of godly teachers. But I'm grateful that Derek and I get to be their main source.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh the benefits are endless! Maybe I'll just write up a whole long list for the blog someday. But these few have really stood out to me over the years we've been homeschooling. After realizing through that article how little some people know about homeschooling, I couldn't help but share my favorite reasons to stick with it in spite of the foolish and ignorant comments.

We love homeschooling!

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