The Race is NOT Given to the Swift…

After our three-day weekend, I sat down on Sunday night with our son’s school planner and a very simple plan: wake up early and get a full day’s school in before the older two leave for dance classes and I drive the youngest to her book club meeting at the library.   But I forgot some things.

I forgot that our license tag sticker on the car had expired as of yesterday, and if I did not get it renewed, the oldest and I would drive around on grace probably until Friday.

I forgot that the youngest had a pair of new glasses that failed to arrive before Easter, and so they would surely call this morning for her to be fitted, and of course, I could not wait until this evening because of the book club meeting.

So, after another night of broken rest, I got up at the last minute to drop the oldest off at college and then get the new sticker.   Our son’s job was to get breakfast (cereal) for himself and the youngest and get their school day started.    I LOVE that the kids are old enough now to delegate tasks.

On the way to college, the oldest and I talk about her gum infection, which has kept her from eating for almost a week and still is not completely healed.    We agree that I need to consult with the orthodontist about extending her prescription.

Sure enough, as I am driving to get the sticker, the eye doctor calls; I speak with him briefly, then call our son to tell him that plans have changed.   Tell the youngest to get dressed, and I will swing by the house to pick her up and get to the eye doctor.

As we leave the eye doctor, it hits me that I wanted to buy some roti to carry our son and I through the week with Dad away, but the vendor operates on a cash-only basis, so we have to trek by the bank, which brings me to the next thing I forgot: it is the first of the month.  Grrr…

I spend a minute (literally 45, to be exact) with the younger two at home before jumping in the car to get the oldest from college.   In route, I speak with the orthodontist, who adds a pharmacy trip to the day.   On the way home, cash in hand, the oldest and I get to the roti shop.    I also forgot how many people, including the local schools, take a vacation on the Monday after Easter.   No roti today.

By the time I get home, I am whipped, and it is barely noon.

This glimpse into the morning’s first few hours is a small microcosm of what has been happening in my life for the past few days and weeks.   There is enough going on for me to become quite frustrated.  Yet the Lord continues to show His grace and mercy, and a number of calming thoughts have come in waves to give me peace that passes human understanding.  I don’t always understand why I don’t have even more worries!

A constant theme in my life, and consequently on my blog, is the whole concept of being productive/ planning/ redeeming the time.   It occurs to me as I often ponder how I got here that when you are an educated woman with abilities to do a number of things and do them well, you get pulled in a number of areas.   And on one hand, there is nothing wrong with that–as long as you know when to say “when.”   Here are some other thoughts I have had about my time while on this earth:

Stay focused on purpose.   As Rick Warren states so much more eloquently, just because you can do something does not mean you should.   There are a number of items that compete for my attention.  Some are projects that I genuinely need to make time for, like home maintenance and improvement projects (I dare not list them out).  Some are projects that I enjoy, but just do not have time for right now, like sewing or scrapbooking.   Some items are just fun, like “visiting” around on Facebook–but do I really have the time?   And is this activity furthering my progress or fulfilling my purpose?    Well, yes and no…

Keep the main thing, well, the main thing.   I have overall prorities; I grow increasingly clear on my purpose.   Yet, I also have to submit my schedule to the Lord each day, allowing His wisdom to guide me in what needs to be accomplished on that day.  And though I know some will disagree, it is not always as simple as husband second, children third, etc.  If I went about every day in that order, I would never do anything else, as family is a non-stop ministry.  Plus, it would not allow the children to grow into the necessary self-sufficiency for them to function as young adults.   Some days, laundry is the main thing.  Other days, grades or a writing deadline might be the main thing.  And yes, many days, family is the main thing.

A list is your friend.   When I worked outside of my home, planning the day, complete with A, B, and C priorities,  was a part of my morning, over-coffee routine.  At home, however, I might heat my tea three times before I actually make a list, and then I write items that I have completed and check them off just to give myself a feeling of accomplishment.   Getting up before the kids would be of immense help here, but let’s face it: I have not sprung forward well.  Yet, I have been using my phone for more of its total functionality as a tool, not just a toy. My calendar has each week’s activities loaded, and I am using my “memo” app to keep track of my notes, and–check me out– I even wrote the lion’s share of this blog post with it!!  Yay me!!!

The Scriptures say that the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end.   May our wonderful Counselor guide us each day in how to run our races such that others might see us and glorify Him who is in Heaven.

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A Party for the Non-Party Planner

May 11th. 

courtesy of karaspartyideas.com

courtesy of karaspartyideas.com

That’s the day of our city-wide homeschool graduation ceremony.   As I put together these last 9-10 weeks of lesson plans, I am constantly reminded of how close that date really is relative to today.   Even more staggering, for lack of a better word, is the fact that our oldest has even less time in actual school days.   Her days at His Way Home School will actually come to a close by the end of April.   (I am anticipating the revolt from my younger two when she is finished versus the 3 or so weeks that they’ll have left).   With that being a fact, I sense time as an increasingly looming presence that constantly tugs at me, reminding me of the many items that I basically have, at this point, about one month to complete.

One of those many items–with several subsets of tasks underneath–is to put together a graduation party.   Can I be honest?   That is sssssssssoooooooo not me.    I’d be happy to invite the family and a few close friends over to pots and paper plates, eat and greet, and call it a day.   In fact, this whole listing of tasks before the “big day” brought back distant memories of my own high school graduation events.   I graduated during the same weekend in which a dear cousin of mine got married.   Translation: a whole lot of family with a whole lot to do.   And true to the nature of a big, Southern family, we fellowshipped and ate together every night, celebrating each event in its turn.   I don’t recall having any regrets about that time.   I’m sure I won’t regret this time, either, but I’m not looking forward to the numbers of people and the general hustle and bustle of sitting through a graduation ceremony–or at least some of it–then running off to prepare for a reception.   The introvert in me just can’t get ready for all the activity, and I feel only one semi-emotion when I think about the day: anxious.    BUT, the oldest asked for a party for her graduation; she’s not asked for a party in almost 10 years, and everyone around us–immediate family and friends–has that gentle, electric buzz about her big day to come, and all the plans of her young adulthood that will take new shape and form as she leaves our home.   So, here we go.

courtesy of deliciousdeliciousdelicious.blogspot.com

courtesy of deliciousdeliciousdelicious.blogspot.com

Enter Pinterest.   My dear friend Kerimae blogged recently about the impact of computers, and how the digital age has taken as much–if not more–than it has given us in our quest for effectiveness and efficiency.   At least, that’s what I got out of her post.  As I shared with her, the computer has cost me a lot.   Work requires that I spend hours on it; home education requires that I engage with computers, and technology in general.   Building a business demands that I use social media networks, i.e., free advertising, to my advantage.    My sacrifice is that I don’t get to do some other fun and necessary items, like spending time out-of-doors weeding, walking, and generally taking in the fresh air.  BUT, one thing a computer has done for me is to expand my knowledge base and comfort level very quickly in areas with which I’m totally unfamiliar and/or hopelessly inadequate.

I will confess that I didn’t really see the point of Pinterest for a long time; I joined because it seemed to be the flow of traffic in terms of social media, and I thought it’d be another way to keep up with friends.   I have an Evernote account that allows me to store and access my favorites from any computer, so what is the point, right?   Yet, with Pinterest being such a visual medium, I thought it might be the perfect place to find party ideas and foods that are simple enough to prepare, and pretty enough to make a visually striking party.   A basic search of ‘graduation party ideas’ did not disappoint.   I spent hours “pinning” pictures to my own boards after finding tons of simple food ideas that I could combine with minimal catering and look as if I actually have some skill in this area.  These pictures are just a few of the  ideas I found, but probably won’t incorporate.   Are you as amazed as I am at the creativity of people??!!

There are still other party-related items that must happen.  Interestingly enough, while I drafted this post, Office Depot sent a discount code for graduation invitations–talk about God’s hand.   Another dear friend who dabbles in professional photography offered to take the oldest’s graduation pictures gratis–another blessing.  I even found party items for her intended college of choice, thanks to Party City.   Also, my Pinterest party idea board has several links to printables and other simple food ideas.    Perhaps the most telling–or embarrassing, dependent upon how you look at it–part of this whole digital revelation is that actually, I was inspired by the youngest, who began searching for themes for her upcoming sleepover–a party that I’ve not “officially” gotten on board with, by the way.   True to her nature, she already has a list of invitees, a schedule, a budget based upon what she found at Party City, and yes, she, too, has perused blogs and Pinterest for party ideas–far before I thought to do so.   Gotta love these grown-ups in miniature bodies.

Now if I can pare our list of invitees down to a realistic number of what the room will hold, and if I can learn to not be so heavy-handed with my food glue, i.e., corn syrup, someone just might think that I had a good time with this whole thing.   😉

5 Great Lessons after the Exodus

I have been deliberate about making sure our children read the entire Bible after returning home from a children’s workshop in which the following statement was made: the average American who considers him/ herself a Christian has never read the entire Bible.   Not even once.  This statement put into perspective for me so much about why people who are raised in church can operate so differently on Monday-Saturday.   It also was a stark and painful reminder of my own earliest adult years, when it became obvious through my own life that while church attendance is important, it would not, in and of itself, sustain me as a Christian.    Yet, ironically enough, when I began our original study of the entire Bible with the older two, I made very conscious decisions to skip certain portions.    Moses as an author?  Too boring once the Ten Commandments were handed down.  One prophet sounded similar to another, so why cover them all?  Same premise with the Gospels: as an adult I know that the four authors had different perspectives in what they shared and why, but I wanted to press onward.   I say all of this tongue-in-cheek, but my real “eye” for what we covered was, what would keep it interesting/ engaging for the children?   Bear in mind also that the kids were much younger when we began this first journey.   I’ve since realized the arrogance of that decision.   All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2nd Timothy 3:16).   So, this trip around, with the oldest on her own and the youngest in tow, we are reading each and every Word.

We are in the last chapters of Exodus right now, studying the making of the tabernacle—down to the cubit.   After we read, I ask the children, “What is God saying to us today?”   The youngest says some version of this answer: “Well, like we talked about before, the Lord is into details and wants order.”   Her tone says it all: ‘I’m tired of reading about cubits and acacia wood, and if I see one more piece of purple/red/blue cloth…’   I feel her.   After all, it wasn’t too long ago that I chose to skip this portion of scripture entirely.   But, as the Shepherd so often does, He leads His sheep to great places in our studies—if we hang in there with Him.   Here are five lessons that I’ve discovered from our reading—repeatedly–about cubits and wood:

1)      The Lord uses ordinary people and equips them with what they need.   Bezaleel and Aholiab were given positions of tremendous responsibility, but, as the Word says, God filled them with the Spirit (first!), and skills, abilities, knowledge, and all manners of workmanship.  Did they come empty-handed?  No.  Aholiab was a craftsman from the tribe of Dan.   But their ordinary gifts in the extraordinary hands of the Master produced an awesome work.   In fact, Bezaleel’s name is still mentioned in modern-day culture regarding design firms and architecture of all sizes.

2)      The importance of operating in mercy toward one another.   Once the frame for the tabernacle was built, the first piece of furniture to follow was the mercy seat.   I personally think this is significant.   God thought it was most important; we should see it as important, too, and use this lesson as a model for how we treat others.  Mercy requires that we believe the best in people, that we give them the benefit of the doubt, and that we truly embrace James 1:19–slow to speak, slow to anger (please, Lord Jesus), and quick to listen (again, please, Lord Jesus).

3)      There is unprecedented favor and anointing when you operate in your assignment. These two men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, were the lead construction engineers, in modern-day terms.  We never hear from them again.  They might have been called upon as leaders to give direction or expertise, but they didn’t use their influence and sphere of control to try and replace Moses; they weren’t looking to become priests.   They operated in what was their assignment, with marvelous results.   Recently, I have had the opportunity to do some freelance writing that I would have enjoyed, and I thought that because the information was presented to me—indirectly—it must have been for me.   But God gave me a Word through our pastor about the danger of stepping out from under the covering of Christ, even when it appears to be a good thing.   I knew almost immediately that I needed to reconsider.

4)      In all things, God wants our best.   When you read the word gold, there is an imagery that strikes the mind, or at least, that strikes my mind: fancy, elegant, eye-catching, and expensive. This was a portable tent, for goodness’ sake!  Linen can be fancy, too, but what’s with the purple, blue, and red?   Well, our history studies tell us that purple was a very expensive dye color to prepare.   To make it, you had to crack open a shellfish called a trumpet shell.   Because of the expense of this process, purple (and its derivatives, I imagine) was only available to royalty.  Remember that Lydia (Acts 16:14-15) was a dealer of purple cloth, from which you could infer that she had a certain amount of influence in the city.  I believe in part that that’s why her baptism was significant—she was a person that others noticed.

5)      Be obedient to what God places in your heart.   I am often amazed when a person says, “God spoke to me and said…,” or after praying for me, the person will say, “The Lord says…”   I can’t help but wonder how they know it was God who spoke to them.   I have this image of burning bushes or doves or some other miraculous show of God’s presence.   Yet, my own experience with God “speaking” to me is the same as Watchman Nee described in his The Spiritual Man: God speaks through our conscious and our intuition, and even in our subconscious dreams,
confirming it through His Word (which is why it’s sooooo important to actually read the Bible and know what it says).   Too many times, we dismiss what goes through these psychological venues, and it’s how we can easily miss a God move.   In these final chapters, the Lord gave Bezaleel and Aholiab wisdom to construct the temple, but He also gave the people a heart to give, providing for the construction.   That person that we always think about is an opportunity to intercede for them in prayer; that idea that keeps us up at night can be the beginning of a thriving and successful business.  Don’t discount the gentle tugging at your heart to do something; it could be the key to unlocking a blessing.

I know that there are great books out there for children that cover the Bible and have fun activities to help children with learning.   But I struggle with these in the same way that I struggle with many of the bells and whistles that are increasingly becoming a part of our youth and children’s ministry, as well as ministries across the country.  I talk more about that in article I wrote here.   I don’t think God’s Word needs ostentation, and at some point, all the videos, games and toys can be a distraction from the meat of the Word.  In our home, we read, we discuss, and I believe God to grow those planted seeds.   Our closing prayer over our Bible study has been the same for years now, as originally stated by a pastor of ours: ‘May the Lord add a blessing to the reading and the hearing of His Holy Word, and may it instruct and inspire us in both our public and private lives.’   I trust Him to do just that.   And while the kids will prayerfully have many years to read the Word again and again on their own, I do want to model 2nd Timothy 3:16 in our home as training for what they should do in homes of their own.

Can’t wait to see what the Lord does for us when we get to Numbers (yikes).

With Spring in the air…

With March even closer than just around the corner, I find myself pondering about…

Spring Break plans.   There are a number of work activities that are way past due, but I look forward to writing letters to a couple of friends, pruning the flower beds, and welcoming spring.   I want to sleep in on the cool morning and drink a cup of tea.   Though I know this area is prone to one last cold spell right before Easter, I think that, given the amount of rain we had this winter, we might begin a spring/ summer garden this year.   Our vegetables were SO tasty years ago, so unlike the  store-bought varieties, until I thought this a worthwhile investment in time and money.   My husband is even thinking about fruit trees.

 

Next school year.   Our oldest will move far away to college, and if the Lord says the same, our son will begin his dual enrollment season at the local community college.   He will still continue some of his studies here.  My larger concern, however, is that he is entering college a year younger than the oldest did, but the Honors Director who interviewed her will retire after this spring semester.   We wanted to continue to operate in the favor that has been ours for the last year or more, and so we decided to have him interview under the same director.  I’m as excited for him for him as he is for himself, but I’m also not ready to lose two babies in one school year.   Call me melodramatic on that one, but my nest is emptying way too fast.

Similarly, with just the youngest and I at home, all of those “when it’s just the two of us, we’ll…” plans no longer have an excuse not to happen.   She’s my outdoorsy one, and before we actually began school, I always dreamed of spending outdoor time on a blanket with books.   I guess I’ll have to get a blanket and a lap desk and get after it.

Scribblechecklapdesk2

The next 6-8 weeks.  For the graduate, the list is long.  Our area actually has two homeschool graduations!   I left it up to the oldest if she wanted to “graduate” publicly, and even let her decide on the school name!   After all, His Way Home School has far more to do with focusing me on a direction than it does anything or anyone else.   However, His Way Home was fine for her, and yes, she wants the Cadillac with all four wheels.   That means that within the next month or so, we’ll need to…

  • secure invitations, graduation robe and honors tassels
  • compile an invitation list and mail all the notices to family and friends
  • plan a celebration for the after-graduation ceremony
  • take senior pictures
  • get a class ring
  • secure all final records for her college of choice
  • pull together memory boards and pictures for her table at graduation
  • put together a science project for her final competition
  • prepare for the final dance recital (and get the others ready in turn for an extra-special recital year)
  • help her with making her dress for the science competition

Those are just the highlights that swoosh through my mind today!

I just want to be a good steward of my time, and to take in God’s peace that passes human understanding in the midst of these exciting, yet fretful times.   To stay close to the Lord through it all, to walk with Him each day–this is my heart’s desire.

 

As a deer thirsts for streams of water, so I thirst for you, God–Psalms 42:1

 

 

In whatever He has anointed your hands to do, stay thirsty, my friends.

8 Tasks for NOW before sending your kid to College LATER

Though my primary audience is homeschoolers, much of this advice is actually applicable for any parent of a middle school or younger high school child, regardless of the current method of education.

At the beginning of this year, it occurred to me to try an idea that had been simmering within the old noggin for a number of years: separate my blog.   Whether you call it niche blogging, branding, or any other rose that would smell as sweet, at the end of the day, I just felt as if my blog didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up.   My natural hair journey–a HOT, hot topic among women right now–had completely overshadowed all of the family, home, and homeschool posts that are really the purpose of this blog.   Nothing wrong with that–inspiration is inspiration, but in tieing the blog to the business site, I felt it might be confusing for those who visit here from that site to then find post after post about what my hair has looked like for the last two or more years.

As I said, when I made the decision, it sounded like a great idea.   It still might be, I’m hoping.   But what I’m finding is that now I’m getting pulled away from both blogs by the other tasks that are consuming my time.   When I sat back and thought about my current lack of time issue, the rest of my life looks pretty much the same.  BUT, there are two factors that have definitely impacted my blogging frequency:  1) my laptop finally gave up the proverbial ghost, which reduced the family to one highly overused laptop and a desktop.  Because much of my writing is done in “off hours,” I just can’t drrrrraaaaaagggg myself out of bed to get on the desktop and then motivate myself to write.  Then there’s the other issue: college preparation for the oldest, and the amount of time these items take in the evenings.   Generally, I don’t plan the time (part of the problem), but instead I hear, “Mom, I’ll need some help with _______ ,” with associated deadline, and there goes the evening.

From the outside looking in, you might immediately think that I should delegate more, or let her grow up and handle these things alone since she’ll have to anyway, blah, blah, blah.   I say that because those were all the thoughts I had when we initially began this process.   Then I found myself wondering why certain tasks were taking her soooooo long to complete, and why she became so frustrated if one new opportunity was added, or why her sleep was cut so short, etc.    During the Christmas holiday, I remember telling my husband , “I’m just going to have to get more involved.”   I said that somewhat resigned to the fact that there was that time management issue, and I was again having to play mom-to-the-rescue when I shouldn’t have to, and will we ever get over this hump?   Ugh.    What I’ve come to realize over the last couple or three months is that there are a few strategic steps that we could have, and should have, begun as early as two years ago, even though I thought we were well ahead of the game.   So did my relatives, who laughed at us about the trips we would make on campuses with our then 3- and 6-year-olds.

The following is not a list of sure-fire ways to get your kid into college; bear in mind that the first graduate of His Way Home School has yet to actually graduate.   Instead, consider this a listing of how to prepare in advance for the tasks that will potentially consume your days during your child’s senior year.   I listed these in no particular order.

1. Make your list of people to consider writing recommendations  NOW  Many scholarship applications require one or more outside references in addition to the information provided on the application.   Moreover, unlike a public school child who can pull from a myriad of teachers and counselors, the list of those who can recommend a homeschooled child for a college and/or college money might be considerably shorter.   The time to think about who is dependable, eloquent, and close enough to your child to write a recommendation is NOT when there are 5 applications due and 12-15 letters needed.    Another factor to consider is who is willing to perhaps be called upon more than once should the need arise.    Make sure that you have the right contact information for each person on the list, and also make sure via a conversation that they are willing and able to place your child in the best possible light.

2. Begin the scholarship hunt early.   There is money available for any child to attend school.    A place of employment could be a source of dollars; a social organization or business can offer funds.   There are funds available for reading and reviewing books!   Yet, the work to find scholarships, to be sure that you meet the requirements, and then to work against deadlines and coordinate those around you to do the same is no small feat.  In our home, we actually put together a spreadsheet based upon due dates, work required for completion, and the level of competition (specific college, local, national, etc.)  There are books available such as The Ultimate Scholarship Book by Gen and Kelly Tanabe, but also consider the following sites (free for signing up such that you get notices when scholarships that match your profile become available):  http://www.zinch.com, http://www.cappex.com, and http://www.fastweb.com .

3. Roll college visits into your vacation plans.   Why forego that camping trip you really want to take in favor of treking through a college campus or two?   Leah Latimer says it best in her Higher Ground: Preparing African-American Children for College (although her words apply to any child):

It’s all about early awareness and advance planning: Researching the road ahead before you reach it.  Knowing what the choices

are well before you have to make them.   Realizing what opportunities lie ahead so you can position your child to take advantage

of them.   Understanding future requirements so so you can start preparing your child at an early age to meet them. (p. 23)

Enough said, right?   If I might add anything from personal experience, each of our older children has had a vision of the college where they just HAD to go.   That vision lasted for years–right up until we actually began making the investment to visit the campuses.    The oldest did not even apply to her “had-to” choice, and our son, who is not far behind her, took his “had-to” choice completely off his list of considerations.   You might not be able to visit every campus that enters your child’s dreams, but if you can narrow the choices down to 3-4, it might be well within your grasp to make a vacation out of a personalized tour.   More importantly, it might save you and your child tens of thousands of dollars.

4. Take advantage of open houses, senior days, and other opportunities for guided tours, even if you do not take a 1-on-1 personal tour.   Don’t just veg out while you walk.   Compile a list of questions for the college tour guide/ representatives.  The questions below are listed in no particular order.

 1. Dorms–is housing guaranteed for all 4 years? If not, is there a guarantee, and if so, for how long? Is there help for finding housing off-campus?
2. How are advisors assigned, and what is the student/ advisor ratio?
3.  How easy is it to change majors? Do you lose all your credits? Also, how many students double-major?
4. Application process–are you assigned specific contacts throughout the process, or are you just a number?
5. What is the timing on decision for acceptance vs. decision for financial aid? (try to find out whether you have to accept before you know how much money you’ll get)
6. Listing of scholarship/ grant opportunities?
7. Do they have a career placement office and what type of help do they offer?
8. Are internships available, and if so, where? What companies?
9.  Library–what hours? (ask the same of the on-campus eating locations?)
10. What type of interaction with the surrounding community?

11.  (to ask of the college-aged tour guide) Why did you choose this college/ university?

5. Talk to your child–honestly and candidly–about money and debt.   I would not presume to tell you what to say.   Perspectives on college costs can range from “you’re not going to _______ school if it cost one dime out of our budget” to “going in debt is how everyone gets through college.”   Either position, and all thoughts in between, have merit.   But given that colleges will talk to your child about paying for college–not you, even though you might be the one who actually writes the check–you need to at minimum have the conversation so that your child’s eyes are wide open regarding the high costs of college and what is the plan to pay for it.

6. Prepare your child for test-taking environments.     Test comfort and preparation can also be a determinant of money.   National Merit scholarships are a function of high PSAT scores, and ACT and SAT scores translate into more dollars.   Dependent upon the state requirements, however, your child may not have taken a standardized test before.   There are study guides available for these tests in your local library, and these same resources are available for purchase.   The College Board site also allows your child access to a daily SAT question.   In any case, you don’t want your child’s first experience with these critical exams to be when the scores will be reported to various colleges.    I should mention, though, that these tests can be taken more than once if the results are not as you want after the first time.   

7. Keep records for yourself of your child’s accomplishments throughout the high school years, and document his/ her work as clearly and succinctly as possible.  In some states, record keeping is standard protocol for homeschooling.   In Texas, however, such is not the case, and which year your child did what can become a blur in the other flurry of activities.   There are several companies that offer affordable record keeping tools, including transcript software.     HSLDA offers free transcript formats.  The various options in formatting gave us the opportunity to craft a transcript that highlighted our children’s strengths and minimized those other areas.

8.  Write those essays.   Our experience has been that, if an application requires an essay, your child will be asked to respond to something along the following lines:

  • what higher education means to me/ why do I want to go to college
  • what have I done/ will I do to help my surrounding community
  • where I want to be in 5 years
  • how will college help me reach my professional and non-professional goals
  • what person has inspired me the most

If you can start your child to at least think about these items, if not write them, they will be so much farther down the proverbial road.   All that becomes necessary at this point is tweaking the essays such that they fit a specific application.

Obviously, the demands of your home may dictate that additional steps are necessary, or there may be areas that, dependent upon your child’s goals, might not be necessary.    Whatever is the mountain ahead of you when it comes to getting your child ready for college, I wish you the very best at climbing it.   Be blessed, dear friends.

Training for Every Season

“Just as the high school student must think past seeing Jane run academically, so he or she must think past Noah’s Ark, past David’s slingshot, and even past the work done on the Cross. What of it? How do I apply all that I have been taught (and presumably learned, the difference of which is another post altogether)? This is the time to see what a child believes, and to step back from the memorization of facts–though memorization is still important–and instead watch and learn. As a student ourselves, we are to trust God that seeds were planted on good soil.”

In this month’s Heart of the Matter Online blog, I talk about raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and how their season of growth and development in Christ parallels the classical approach to other subjects.   You can read more here

 

Inclusive History Takes More Than a Month

I wrote this article for Heart of the Matter’s blog last March, right after February, also known as Black History Month.    There are those who wonder why Black History Month, or Hispanic Heritage Month or Women’s History Month, for that matter, exists.   I penned my heart here about the importance of teaching inclusive history to our children.   Enjoy and be blessed…