Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Schoolyear Schedule

My daily schedule has gone through many changes over the years. Mine is so easy now, I hate to even share it with you.

6:00-6:30 am Arise
6:30-7:30 Bible reading, e-mail, personal reading, daily planning, start one load of laundry
7:30 shower, make bed, get dressed (boys are getting up and starting their day)
8:00 make breakfast and clean up kitchen
8:30 begin schoolwork with boys
between 8:30 and noon I:

try to get in some weight lifting
continue to work on laundry
clean around the house
check work that the boys have done

Our school time:
8:30-8:45 work with one son on math
8:45-9:00 work with other son on math
9:00-9:20 read a book together (we’ve read “A Young Man After God’s Own Heart”, “A Case for Christ”, and others
9:30-10:00 language (writing, grammar, etc.)
10:15-10:30 OUTSIDE!!
10:30- 11:00 science or history discussion over previous day's assignment
11:00-11:30 individual reading
11:30-? Independent work (finish math lesson, writing, music practice, chores

By noon I am finished with schoolwork. I’m still available to answer questions, but my “sit down” time is over. The boys usually still have writing and reading to do on their own. This is also drum and guitar practice time for them.

Afternoon: pre-make dinner (everything that can be done ahead)
Garden, read, more housecleaning chores, mending, etc.)

Two days a week we have music lessons, library and grocery store. I have tried to limit my getting out to only 2 days a week.

Our boys are encouraged to head to bed by 9:00 pm. They are allowed to read until they go to sleep.

Again, this is only a guide. It doesn’t always run smoothly or even on time. But, it’s what I aim for.
This is so easy now, compared to the time when we still had seven children at home! I’ll talk more about that schedule next.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Love Routine......for a Day or Two

Come on. Admit it. Routine makes us feel like we’re accomplishing something. We’re on a roll. We’ve got everything down. We can do it! Right?

We have a few days, or maybe even a few weeks when we’re able to get up at the right time, get our Bible reading done, the kids roll out of bed and get their schoolwork done, and chores even get accomplished. And maybe we even get that workout! Oh yeah! We’re feeling good about ourselves!

But then, that inevitable morning happens when things just don’t go right. Or, even if they do, we’re just not enjoying ourselves any more. The routine is just…….routine. Boring. Weighty. Hard.

I think it’s sort of like living by “The Law” verses living by faith. Just as we can try to live our lives by a set of rules (and notice that no one was able to do that successfully in scripture), we’ll ultimately fail. Our schedules and routines won’t be able to hold us up during the hard times.

So, how do we “homeschool by faith”? What does that really mean?

For me, having a schedule is still important. It’s the daily guideline I go by. But, that’s all it is. When life gets in the way of my routine, it’s time to take action! After all, isn’t that what faith is?

Next, we’ll take a look at my own daily schedule. And then talk about some practical ways to live within, and outside our schedules and routines.

What is your daily schedule? Does it help you, or frustrate you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Our new, smaller family is leaving for Colorado Wednesday night after Switch, Lifechurch’s youth experience. We decided that our boys (almost 13 and 15), would enjoy our week-long trip much more if they didn’t have to miss their youth nights. So, we will return in time for Switch the following Wednesday!

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with some young moms to talk about chore cards SHE-style,
homeschooling, and raising children. It was a delightful time and quite encouraging to hear new thoughts and ideas. I still have LOTS to learn! It’s always a blessing to see others who are passionate about teaching their children at home.

In upcoming blogs I plan to discuss transcripts, beginning phonics, discovering your child’s giftings and anything else YOU want to hear about.

Have some questions? Or some ideas you want to share? Leave a comment or e-mail me at

We begin our academics on September 4. Have you
started your school year?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Marine Came to Visit Me Today

He wanted to explain to me why he had decided to re-enlist with the Marine Reserves. How he felt like it was a calling on his life. It is what he was trained to do. He said that if he could ever prevent his two boys from having to go to war, now was his time.

He shared how very much he loves my daughter and my two grandsons, and he hoped that he could convey that love to them before he left for Iraq .

He talked about the opportunities he would have as a Corporal to share important things with the young men in his unit-- things like his faith, finances, and important lessons he’s already learned in his life.

He shared how he didn’t know what was ahead for him, but that he trusts God. He feels like he is being obedient, even when it doesn’t make much sense to anyone how he can leave a wife and two boys behind.

He is my first son-in love. I couldn’t be any more proud of him if he were my own son.

Corporal Jon M. Simms left today for 30 days training in the Mojave Desert before heading to Iraq and will return June 2008. He is with the Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 23 Marines, and will be stationed in a town west of Baghdad.

Please pray for the safety and protection of his unit and pray for his wife, Erin and his boys, Kaden (4) and Will (2).

If you would like updates of information about Jon and his unit, send me an e-mail at