What Do Your Kids See In YOU?…

Recently I took a couple of “mental health” days all by myself. For home schooling moms this doesn’t happen very often! So before talking myself out of this rare opportunity, I jumped in my car and drove 2 hours away for a much needed personal retreat.

“Our biggest mission in life should start with our children!” ~ Jennifer McMahan

As I was driving, I took the recommendation of a good a friend and began listening to the Key Note Speaker from a previous Home School Conference, Steve Demme, the founder of Math-U-See, My friend thought I’d enjoy it, so I went for it… I mean, I was just driving, so why not?

It was keeping me awake, his content had some humor and a few good stories, then he said one thing. He asked a question that I will not quickly forget. What will your child say when he/she is asked the following question:

“What was it about your parents’ faith that made you want to follow Jesus?”

~ Steve Demme

Here I am driving 70mph down the highway and everything around me seemed to stop. That one statement kept repeating in my mind over and over. When our kids are grown, THAT is the only thing that matters, isn’t it? I mean we can do our very best as parents to educate them, socialize them and even make sure they’ve visited foreign lands and speak more than one language…but, if we haven’t immersed them in how to faithfully follow Jesus…eternally none of the rest matters.

Like I did, I pray you’ll camp out with this question in your heart. Our children are our biggest “mission” in this lifetime. God has entrusted their precious lives to us… and I believe it’s an eternal responsibility.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children…”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
~ Domestic Chick

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Diversity in Learning…

Freedom in learning is a good thing!

When we started homeschooling, it took me some time to accept that our learning at home would not necessarily look like the traditional classroom!  Oh yes, I tried at first… to make our learning “look & feel” like the classroom from my years teaching in the public.  I genuinely thought that was the “right way to do it”. 


Oh how wrong I was!!  Our older daughter, Shelby, (in this fun paddle board video) perhaps taught ME the most about learning in our first years at home!  She thrived on thinking outside the box… as she illustrates here with her ingenuity using a boat dock & paddle board!!  She was my student in elementary school who would sing every answer to me and resist with everything in her to sit down while doing her schoolwork!  Thankfully, I can smile at these memories, but initially, as her teacher, I wrongly thought it was my job to conform her actions to the patterns of the “traditional classroom” believing (of course) we learn sitting down, raising hands, and reciting answers in a completely boring methodical fashion.  UGH… I now see what a snoozer that was!  


Isn’t it crazy how the world has turned?!!  This very moment many, many kids across our country & world are on the sofa or their beds with laptops in hand completing assignments outlined by a virtual teacher and they’re still learning… AT HOME!   Haha!!  I like to say that we homeschooled WAY before it was cool, but how we accomplished it definitely morphed thoughout the years!     


The reality is, today’s students don’t use books like we did.  They don’t sit in classrooms as much as we did.  And they carry the entire encyclopedia with them every single day calling it “Google”!   


But here’s how I want to encourage you  —>  if given the freedom (ok, fine – or being forced by a nasty virus) kids will indeed learn wherever they are!  So, like Shelby taught me years ago, I had to allow her the freedom to learn differently!  She needed the freedom to explore life learning in untraditional ways (in other words, untraditional to me) … she needed the freedom to fulfill her curiosity with the paddle board experiment in Tennessee!  And I am so, so glad I realized this strategy early on before she lost her internal drive to learn!


Yay!!  Let’s encourage & empower our students with a little more freedom to learn in new ways & and more freedom to be curious, exploring what excites them in life … whether it be virtually or even outside!  Either way, there’s no argument that education is changing and, in my personal opinion,  it might just be a good thing!  


Are you teaching at home?  How is it going?  

~ Domestic Chick

The Plan vs. The Relationship

Don’t miss the talk!

Homeschool friends! 🏡

If you’re like us, mid-September finally brings a little more predictability & routine jumping back into the swing of our school days…yes! 🙌🏽 📚. It’s a welcome return, for sure.

Being type A, & a go-getter kind of girl, though, I have made some mistakes along the way 😫. So, I’ll just be transparent enough to share with you what I have learned NOT to do as you start a new school year.

I deeply relate to the drive of “getting the lessons done”… I love the PLAN!! And, I spend hours preparing & painstakingly counting out the upcoming school days, pouring over the calendar to make sure we can “fit it all in”, right? I carve out time for math, literature, foreign language, sport activities, music lessons, etc. And I think there’s little question, those all have their importance … BUT being blessed with the title of both teacher and momma, we have an additional challenge to prepare within OURSELVES! Here’s where I have made the mistakes & had to be teachable… 😬👇🏽

Don’t ever let the curriculum & the “plan” become more important than the RELATIONSHIP with your kiddos! Friends, education is important & you will get to the subjects, but please, please remember those real-life moments with your precious ones are priceless. When they need to talk in the middle of the school day (or any other time, for that matter), don’t miss it! You cannot go back. Those times may be some of the best opportunities to teach … deeper & more meaningful conversations than any lesson you had planned! Love your kiddos, invest in your students, and enjoy the journey you have been called to! 🏡🙌🏽📚

~Domestic Chick

Diversity in education: at home

As we began this journey years ago, my husband and I both held teaching certificates.  He even completed his Master’s degree within weeks of our first born…yep… in education.  After both of us spending several years in the public school system, we knew how to teach classically and both enjoyed it.  By most standards, we were even good at it too!  While we had nothing against the public education system, as the day approached to drop our daughter at the kindergarten door we just didn’t have a peace in our hearts.  So…

After a lot of prayer, and a considerable amount of furrowed brows from family and friends, we began the journey of teaching at home.  Homeschooling was a leap of faith, for sure, but today I can confidently say we have no regrets in making the decision.

Coming from the school system though, has posed unique challenges for us as teachers.   It takes some time to realize how quality learning can be accomplished without a bell schedule, but a very flexible one… maybe sleeping in a bit longer won’t hurt anyone either… and best of all, nobody has to sit in a classroom with nice, neat rows all day!  Early on,  I tried to force the classical school mentality at home, thinking we had to “look” like school as most of us remember it.   This simply wasn’t necessary and soon I realized that much of the beauty of homeschooling lies in the blessing of daily DIVERSITY!  You might wonder: What does diversity in a home school week look like?  

Diversity in homeschooling happens when we allow our deeper learning to be fueled by curiosity, life experiences,  & exploration…instead of the clock. 

~ Domestic Chick

During a typical week,  we don’t look like a classically structured “classroom”.  At any given time, our daughters  may be playing the piano, laying on their bed working on grammar, sitting at their desks writing in their journals or completing daily science experiments in the kitchen or sometimes even the garage!  They love working with typing software on the computer and earning mastery percentages on our #1 favorite website for math: www.khanacademy.org.   My personal favorite activity is snuggling up to read our Bible and history on the sofa.  And, don’t forget learning in the kitchen! We often include baking & cooking too.  Making cookies was a fun way to learn more about the Periodic Table of Elements… and eating them is even more fun!   When kids are excited and active, that’s when the real learning takes place.  For example, our older daughter enjoys taking photos. Her enthusiasm of capturing a bee on a flower just makes me smile. We definitely work hard & take our learning seriously; but, we make sure to have fun along the way.  During lunch many days,  we enjoy using the Apple TV to watch videos from www.youtube.com, www.DiscoveryEducation.com or www.BrainPop.com to go deeper in a topic we’re studying while we eat.  We all enjoy this time!

While covering the curriculum remains a top priority, we would be missing out if we forgot to include social time as well ! Yes, we are quite social and make it a priority to be part of groups and with friends every week having fun, sometimes every day …haha!

When the beautiful weather is here, it’s a great opportunity to serve in the garden at our local Food Bank or at Hope+Choice, a local crisis pregnancy center.  These experiences are time well spent learning to work hard with friends serving others. Raising our kids to look outside of themselves and serve the needs others will certainly help to develop within their own hearts an extra measure of compassion & thankfulness!

So, there it is.  That’s what a week of diversity in homeschooling looks like at our house! I do want to mention that the local school system has many incredible educators with hearts for the students. The decision regarding the education of every child should be made on an individual basis according to what is absolutely best for that student.

I am thankful for the choice!  It fits our family well and I am happy to report that many of those original furrowed-brow family members now see that student at home can indeed still achieve an extraordinary education!   🙂

~ Domestic Chick