Tuesday 28 July 2015

Four Reading schemes for the Summer

Each summer, there is at least one reading scheme available to try to prevent the reading slide that is said to occur over the holidays. This year, I have heard about four and doubtless, there are more. 

UK libraries have an annual Summer Reading Challenge. This year the theme is Record Breakers. The library scheme

  • requires only six books for completion. It is possible to finish the challenge in a week! Yes, I know from experience!
  • can include audio books or books read to the child
  • encourages discussion about the book when the child reports back to library staff about the book. One of mine was asked quite complex questions about characters in the book.
  • restricts books to those in their local library. 
This scheme has encouraged my children to use the local library and one of my children has started to use the online catalogue and has learned to request books (free for children).

I will list some books which we have enjoyed from our local library as it may be worth looking for these in your library. I know that the selection varies but we have found that requesting books which are within the borough is effective although the inter-library loan system has never worked well for us. Anyway, we have enjoyed
  • Jake the Dog series by Annette Butterworth
  • The Owl who was afraid of the dark and other animal books by Jill Tomlinson
  • Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo. However, Snug  by the same author caused great upset.
  • Alfie books by Shirley Hughes
  • Picture books by Marcia Williams. The Elephant's Friend and other tales from Ancient India was a popular recent find.
  • Usborne early readers although we have failed to find the non-fiction Usborne beginners series.
  • Audio books of the Chronicles of Narnia.
A couple of summers ago, the theme of the Library Summer Reading Challenge was a haunted house and in common, with some other Christian parents, we did not want our children to enter this. One mother kindly set up an alternative reading scheme, Wisdom House. For this scheme, parents or children note all the books read over the summer and certificates are awarded. Wisdom House also produces an occasional newsletter with reviews of Christian children's and adult's books. This scheme is run as a Yahoo group. To subscribe, send an email to wisdomhousereading-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

The Christian Bookshop in Ossett has a reading scheme with discounted books from a selection. There are three books to be read: the first has 1/3 off, the second is half price and the third is free. There are two main age groups: 5-10 and 11+ although there is also an offer on toddler books. This is ideal for anyone trying to build up their library of Christian books.

Finally, why not make up your own customised scheme? Lizzy at Peaches@Home has written about her family's scheme which includes the parents.

Do you join a summer reading scheme or do you find that it is a time when children tend to read more without incentives? We have found that, with appropriate books left around, our children have made some of their most major reading gains over the summer.  Yes, we do use reading schemes but I wonder whether what really matters is having access to plenty of books.

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Monday 27 July 2015

Homeschooling with Many

Welcome to the fourth post in the series Home educating in different circumstances. The first three posts were

Today, Caroline  who blogs at the Joyful Keeper is writing about Homeschooling with Many.

Life in our house is interesting.

“Why?”, you may ask.

Well. We have 8 children, and two adults. That’s ten of us, in our house.

Not only that (and this is the one that makes people gasp louder, when they are told…), but we HOMESCHOOL!

That elicits many a response, when people find out, but it usually involves words like “wow”, “are you crazy”, “you must be patient”, “how do you do it?”

 Let me respond to those things.

Well, I guess it is a bit “wow”, but for us, it’s just normal life. We have always home educated our children, so they don’t know any different, and I don’t know any different. It’s more “normal” to us, than “wow”.

“Are you crazy?”  
The jury is slightly out on that count. But, that’s got less to do with our educational choices, and more to do with my general personality.  Are we crazy to choose home education? Obviously, I don’t think so. It was a prayed-over, well-thought-out, seeking-to-honour-God decision, that we firmly believe is right for our family.  If it’s crazy to want to do what you feel is best for your family, whilst following convictions laid upon your heart by the Lord, then, we are crazy. Happy to stick my hand up and be counted on that score.

“You must be patient”
Hmmmmmmm. Ask the children to answer that, or certainly my husband. I am NOT the most patient person, and simply making the choice to home educate doesn’t magically mean you are! I am LEARNING to be more patient, but I guess everyone is! We should all live and learn. It TESTS my patience, but many things in life do that. And, according to the Bible, patience being tested leads to more godly attributes, so it’s all good!

“How do you do it?”
Now, I think this is the part that Sarah wanted me to handle. I need to clarify something, first of all. What we do for our large family is NOT what will work for every large family. The same applies to ANY size of family. Don’t try and copy others just BECAUSE.  Look at your own situation, and work out what is best for you. It might be the same as us, it may be totally different. It doesn’t matter.  
Let me give you a run down of who we are, and our own situation. I have 8 children aged from 13 down to 1 (it will be 14 and 2 by the end of the year). We have always home educated, and they never went to school at all. As I said, they, and I, don’t know any different than the way life is now.
We started our home ed journey as really enthusiastic parents of a pre-schooler, who were DESPERATE to get started! There’s this excited passion that parents have when they begin their journey like we did, and it usually involves a “keen bean” element, that has you desperate to jump in full force, from as early on as possible. I look back at myself, and I laugh and groan simultaneously! You DON’T need to do anything formal too quickly. I think we ended up trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, by forcing formal schooling too early. 

That, however, is a whole other blog post.

 We used ACE to begin with. We knew some people who used it, and as a first-timer, it seemed easy to follow and all laid out for us. Both of those things were true. It took us about 4 years to realise that crying and torture on every school day was NOT necessary, and we could do something different! It was one of the most freeing things I have ever done – choosing to stop it, and think about other options. We took a couple of months to research and find something that would suit our family.

Now, THIS is where my “How do you do it” comes in. Here is what I look for in curriculum, to make it work for US.

I wanted something that inspired my children to learn, and especially with living books. Not just prescriptive text books. I am an avid lover of learning, myself, and in order to keep the “Love of learning” fire lit, *I* needed to feel passionate about it. Whatever you choose, as a parent of lots of children, it needs to suit the parent, and their needs. We aren’t in a busy Church situation (my hubby is a Pastor), so we don’t have lots of extra activities we need to work around. Each day is ours to fill as we please, and I wanted to relax and enjoy learning. With ACE, it was all about “pages completed”, or books completed – all tallying up and pressure to do “x” amount. I didn’t want learning to feel like that.

I wanted something that was multi-level. When you have lots of children, I think there are maybe two main road to take. Either, something that is workbook/textbook based, that each child just works alone on, or, multi-level learning, where you can work on the same topics together, at the level appropriate for that child. That’s what we chose. There are two exceptions. Maths, and grammar. Children need to work on those at the right level for their learning curve, so we chose Math-u-see and we are currently using Rod and Staff for English. For everything else we use a multi-level, cyclical approach. Our main curriculum is Tapestry of Grace. I have written other posts about that, which you can search for on my blog. WE use Answers in Genesis for science. I do it as a read-aloud, and they all then join in with various associated activities, as they are able. WE use read-alouds in a general sense, too. I have recently been reading aloud a missionary story, which we are ALL loving! They all learn together, and it’s a great way to learn.

My next “how-to” would be about how we physically get it all done. It’s been a bit of a gradual process, finding what fits for us. We do a 4-day week, as my hubby has his day off on a Monday. Home-ed is great for flexibility like that. I spend the first part of the day working one-to-one with my youngest learner. Whoever that may be needs to have extra support, until they are a fluent reader. The next one up stays nearby, too, so they can ask about anything they struggle with. Everyone else does their maths and English first, and works independently on that. Our other subjects get spread out through the week. Our reading – history and lit – gets done on a Tuesday. Different children working at their own level, but on the same topic. When we start back, we will be studying from the days of the early Church into the medieval times, and onward from there. We do science one or two days a week, art and music one day, geography one day, and then the worksheets and activities that tie in with history and lit get done through the week.
I realised that for me to stay sane, we needed a relaxed day of learning. We don’t rush, and it takes us all day. As we don’t have anything or anywhere to rush TO, it doesn’t matter! I also have “room time” for an hour after lunch. They go off and play, and burn off steam, before coming back to do the activities we do all together. I could squish it all into a shorter space of time, but why bother? It would create more stress and the joy of learning would be supressed. 
Another thing I have had to LEARN, and trust me, I’m still learning - if I plan to do something, and we don’t do it, it DOESN’T MATTER! No person can learn everything! I find I need to be more laid back and open minded about what is necessary to be getting a solid and well-rounded education. Some things can be dropped, and it won’t harm anyone.  It’s so easy to get stressed and caught up in jumping through hoops, that someone else has set the height of. Who says you need to do “X, Y and Z” at a certain time, or by a certain age? I try and do what suits each child best, and our family as a whole.
The thing, above all else, that I try and hold onto, is remembering who we seek to honour in every part of our lives – God. Keeping the focus on character, and learning about the truths of scripture, woven into life. THAT, for me, is the joy of educating at home. Talking of His greatness as we rise, walk and lay down again.
I thought I would finish with a “Top Tip”, that I have particularly had to learn about when teaching so many children. Don’t be afraid to say “this isn’t working for us”, and do something else. Maybe you chose it because it was advertised well, but it’s not working for you at all. Sell it, move on. Maybe it worked for you to start off with, and now it doesn’t. Sell it, and find something else. Maybe you LOVE it, with a passion, but it doesn’t suit your family’s needs any longer? Find something else, and move on. You can’t live and die by one choice you make in your home educating journey. You’re not a failure because it doesn’t suit any more. It just means you are wise enough to respond to the needs of all your family, and provide the best for what you need right here, right now. Change does NOT equal failure. I am so glad I learnt that, but wish I had learnt it sooner.

If you want to ask me anything else, feel free to contact me through my blog, or ask questions from this post. Above anything, love your journey.

 "Caroline is wife to Robert, and mother to 8 wonderful children. They live in rural Bedfordshire, where her husband is the Pastor of a small Reformed Baptist Church. Life is busy, but very blessed, as they live and learn together. She enjoys blogging, where she shares the lessons the Lord lays on her heart, along with a dose of how they live life in their home. Crocheting, knitting, reading, and spending time with her family, are her favourite pursuits, but more than anything else, she loves to walk closely with her Saviour, and learn of Him. Find her at www.thejoyfulkeeper.blogspot.com"

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Thursday 23 July 2015

Learning about the Middle Ages: Abbeys

My younger children have been learning about the Middle Ages and, of course, that includes monasticism. The role of monasteries and abbeys in life in the Middle Ages is fairly difficult for twenty first century children to appreciate but actually seeing the remains of one towering above the surrounding countryside does give an idea of their importance and also their wealth.

I find that teaching about the religious life of the Middle Ages is complex in terms of balance. As a child, I read many, many stories about the Reformation and why it was needed but really lacked an understanding of the importance of many religious houses in the education, health and social life of the times. One way to begin to understand this is for the children to see the size of some of these places and to talk about their other roles. 

The Abbey which we saw recently was Bayham Old Abbey, on the Kent/Sussex border. This Abbey belonged to the Premonstratensian Canons who kept to an order reputed founded on the rules set by Augustine of Hippo. Like Wenlock Abbey which we saw last year, this Abbey has extensive ruins.

 As well as the remains of an old gatehouse, The Kent Gate. It is assumed that there was a Sussex Gate but nothing remains of this.

This site is large and there were relatively few visitors when we were there-ideal for children who want to run!

There is also still a fair amount of detail.

Plus a much more modern, eighteenth century house on the site. A couple of rooms have been renovated to show the eighteenth century features and not surprisingly, are reminiscent of some of the rooms in some Jane Austen films.

Having romantic remains in the garden was fashionable.

In the distance, is the third related building, Bayham Abbey House which was built in Victorian times.

This was a beautiful, and relaxed day out; vaguely educational but with plenty of space to run. The site would be improved by some information boards but perhaps, that would detract from imagining the Abbey in its complete state, some eight hundred years ago.

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Tuesday 21 July 2015

Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count makes a great, short summer holiday activity. 

The charity Butterfly Conservation is doing a survey of butterflies and moths in the UK. They want volunteers to spend 15 minutes on a sunny day surveying. They seem to be very flexible as to the areas used. We used our garden but it seems that most open spaces could be used. The date is also flexible, anytime from 17th July to 9th August although they prefer a sunny day. I guess that increases the probability of actually seeing butterflies. 

There is a handy identification tool on the site although we found that butterflies don't keep still for long so identification was a bit challenging, at times.
Butterfly on the potato plants.

The survey led us to look at other insects. We saw dragonflies and watched bees and bumble bees collect nectar, and hopefully, pollinate our pumpkin flowers.

The children were very keen to catch a butterfly but soon let it go.

Over 15 minutes, we saw three different types of butterfly and several other insects.

Definitely recommended!

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Monday 20 July 2015

Green Ember free today!

I reviewed The Green Ember, last week and wanted to let you know that it is free on Amazon today.

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Home Educating and being a Carer

This is the third post in my series about home educating in different circumstances. The first two posts were

This is about home educating whilst being a carer. 

I will primarily focus on caring for an older relative on a long term basis as this is what I know about but many of the principles will apply in other situations. We have had an older relative live with us for over eight years now. Our younger two children either weren't born or don't remember life before we were care givers. 

Why be a carer?
-We are living in a society where people are, on average, living longer. Some of those people may well be our parents and grandparents and may need help as they get older.

-If we are Christians, then the injunctions from 1 Timothy5 about caring for older family members apply to us.

Verse 4 if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

 Verse 9
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Verse 16

 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

Yes, for some people that may mean supervising the care of an older relative in a care home and making sure that care is optimal but for some that means having a relative to live with the family.

-Sometimes, it is easier to have an older relative close by than to try to help them from miles away. I know, we have been there!

There are many benefits to having an older relative in our own home or close by

-It is much easier to help them, for example, with doctors' appointments or with post.

-They will, almost certainly, like to see the grandchildren.

-They may be able to tell the grandchildren about the history of their lives. My children were able to hear, from their Grandmother, about her parents and their role in the First World War.

-This is a really tangible way to demonstrate love and show Christian kindness.

-Living in a family can be a remedy against loneliness.

But, and this is a big but, there are challenges:

  • Appointments can interfere with learning. OK, appointments and caring are part of life and probably learning but there is a limit! 
  • It is really difficult, probably impossible, to go on a spontaneous trip and arranging holidays can reach nightmare proportions. 
  • While you are giving children independence, an older relative may well be losing this. It is easier to judge when a child can learn to do a new task than to know when an older person is no longer able.
  • The doorbell seems to ring constantly and carers, social workers, therapists will see that your children are being educated at home. 
  • And, yes, it is difficult to keep the house clean. There is more to do, more people in the house, more possessions and more mess.
How to manage being a carer and home educating?

  • God's grace is sufficient. One of my favourite verses is 
My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12 verse 9
  • Try to arrange routine appointments outside times when you would want to be doing more formal work with children. This isn't always possible but surprisingly often does work.
  • Would a telephone appointment work for something routine? Again, a big time saver.
  • Think of other time savers. Will the pharmacy deliver? Can grocery shopping be done on line?
  • It isn't possible or even wise to clean the house before every caregiver visit. 
  • Have a plan. We front load our day with English and maths so that if things go wrong, at least that is covered. Let older children know what they should be doing so they can get on with work while you deal with the care agency review. Have something for each child to do when you are busy-this may be Duplo, a book, handwriting or whatever they can handle on their own.
  • Don't try to do everything-it just isn't possible. It is better to be relatively relaxed with a messy house than stressed out.
  • There needs to be some balance between the generations, including the middle generation! This may mean that the children can't go on every trip but it does mean that they should be able to go on trips and to home education group meetings. It means that the older generation should also have a chance to go out and that their hospital appointments are prioritised. For the middle generation, too busy is not having time to read God's Word or get to church or to the doctor when necessary. Sometimes, it is necessary to ask for help!

    I do hope this is useful. It is possible to home educate and be a carer. God gives grace and strength for the day. Please feel free to ask questions or email me.

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Saturday 18 July 2015

A funny sort of rest

We've been away, this last week, for a holiday, in the Peak District.  The downers were a visit to the Minor Injuries Unit  and  phone calls with a paramedic in London. Yes, I did think the care arrangements were secure and well, they probably were but events happen.

Still, the Peak District is beautiful. We have had the usual, even later than usual bedtimes; as well as a child who wants to discuss numbers at 5am.

Anyway, on to the positives.

We spent Sunday at Stanton Lees Chapel where God's Word was clearly preached in a gloriously scenic spot.

Other highlights included Speedwell Caverns which had an underground boat trip through a disused lead mine into a natural cavern which contains the Bottomless Pit-all 11 metres deep.

It is hard to believe outside that the ground it riddled with old workings.

We saw bats, a camel and a toad on a night walk.

Ruined castles at the end of roads.

Eyam, the historic plague village.

The older paintings in the church which date from the Middle Ages and so fitted in well with the children's current history.

And one of the oldest public water systems in the country. If I didn't know otherwise, I would have wondered what caused the plague.

Beautiful Ilam.

Thanks to Middle Son for the last two pictures.

I always wonder whether holidays are worth the effort of arranging cover for caring duties and the stress when things go wrong at home. This year, it has been even more borderline and I really, really don't know whether it wouldn't have been better to go in shifts or one of us take the younger ones away. It seems like sacrilege to say this but the amount of organisation required just becomes silly. Has anyone else ever wondered this?

Anyway, Derbyshire is worth seeing and isn't too far from London.

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Tuesday 14 July 2015

The Green Ember

I first heard about The Green Ember  by S.D. Smith on the Read Aloud Revival. However, it also seemed popular on the Read Aloud Revival Facebook group so when it was available as a free download on Kindle, I jumped at the chance to read this book.
The Green Ember is a substantial novel for children, running to 368 pages and 44 chapters. It is based around two rabbits, Heather and Picket who become homeless and without close family, after a disaster. The story follows their wanderings and how they learn about family secrets, community, rabbit politics, deception and betrayal. 

The action is fast paced after the first chapter; rabbits perform amazing feats and good triumphs. The end is satisfying but leaves room for a sequel.

I am looking forward to reading this book around to my six and eight year olds. This book is suitable for reading aloud from about age six and for reading independently, for readers from about eight or nine. The only people who might want to avoid this book are those who do not like anthromorphism or those who don't wish to read about animals being injured. The descriptions of injury are not unduly graphic and I have no concern about reading this to my six year old.

Like all books with any meat, The Green Ember presents plenty of opportunities for discussion, mapping and cooking around the book but, of course, it should be savoured and enjoyed first.

The Green Ember is available from Amazon as a kindle book for £4.99 or from the Rabbit Room at $22.95 for a hardback or $12.95 for a paperback. 
I note that a prequel called The Black Star of Kingston has just been published.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy when The Green Ember was free on Kindle.

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Monday 13 July 2015

Home Education in a Minister's Family

Today, I have another guest post in the series about Home Educating in different circumstances. The first post was about When both parents share home education. There are posts coming up about
  • educating while caring for an older relative
  • educating with a larger than average size family
  • educating a child with special needs.

This Monday's post is from Lizzy at The Peaches at Home who is talking about Home Educating in a Minister's Family.

The doorbell rings, and my eldest bounds up to answer the door. I'm already in slight panic mode as I realise that someone has turned up early for a Bible study my husband is leading, and the room he needs to use is covered with a careful arrangement of small plastic animals. I welcome in the Bible study member, who is well used to our busy household and helps to pick up animals. I call my husband, put on the kettle and try to chivvy away children who are clutching their toys and now a little over excited.
A ministry home is usually busy, with various meetings and Bible studies taking place. A home educating household is also usually pretty hectic. A combination of the two can be lively at times!
There are unique characteristics of ministry family life. The home is also your husband's workplace, but it is more than just a home with an office. We have church family round for meals, for Bible studies, prayer meetings and for other social events. Moreover, these will often involve not just my husband, but the whole family.
Usually a minister will work six days a week, and will not necessarily have Saturday as a day off (though my husband usually does). In addition, ministry often takes place in the evening. Family life, by necessity, has to adapt.
Home educating is also, obviously, a significant decision for a family. Children, and their endless books, workbooks, art projects and Lego creations all take up space in the house. Teaching, preparation, planning, and just having children around all day, every day, take up a lot of time.
The boundaries between family and work and church are blurred (this is a good thing!), which has significant implications for how we live our lives. There are many, many blessings, which we are grateful to God for. There are also different pressures on our family, which we need to be mindful of.
So, here are 8 advantages and 5 more difficult things about combining home education and church ministry:
8 Best Things:
  1. My husband is around. Yes, he works hard and we try not to bother him when he is in his study, but he is there for serious problems - a catastrophic nose bleed, a discipline issue, or, once, when I realised that I didn't have a clue how a car engine worked (my eldest did a pretty good job explaining, though!).

  1. We are there when he needs us! In our previous church, he regularly did assemblies as the local school. He would often practise them on our children first. Occasionally I have helped with Greek translations, but not often!

  1. My husband and my children are at home, so we get to eat meals together 3 times a day.

  1. Flexibility. If we want to plan a family trip to the zoo, my husband will swap his day off, usually to a Friday, so we can go during the week. Conversely, if my husband needs to work on a Saturday, we can still have a family time together at another point.

  1. Medical appointments. If we arrange it carefully, then my husband can look after the children while I go to necessary hospital appointments etc. - something much harder as a home educating mother if he didn't have the freedom to plan his own time.

  1. Our children get to know lots of different people at church when they come to our house. In particular, they have often got to know some of the older members of the congregation, both here and at our previous church.

  1. Housing. This isn't true for all pastors, but we are blessed to live in the church manse. Even though we live in London, we have a large home with room for a "learning room" in addition to another reception room. We even have a decent sized garden.

  1. Our children don't see church and the church family as something for Sunday only, they see various members of the church coming to pray, to read the Bible and to spend time together throughout the week.

5 Harder Things:
  1. My own ministry in the church is limited as I have far less time available. Even when my children were younger I had more time, but now teaching the children means that week day ministry, such as 1-to-1 Bible studies, is generally not possible for me.

  1. Housework. Our home is used A LOT! I have to be very organised, and to work hard, in order to keep our home ready for use and to keep me sane (I like tidy- not spotless, but tidy!).

  1. It can feel as though our family is more visible than others (though this probably isn't as bad as it feels). In addition to the fear that everyone thinks that the Minister's wife is rubbish at sorting out her children, there is the fear that this is going to be attributed to the fact that we home educate!

  1. Sometimes it is hard to relax. Our church family are still our church family on a "day off". Our children are there all the time. We can find it hard to switch off from thinking about both our church and our children, mainly because of our concern for them.

  1. Time with my husband- JUST my husband- so we can talk is harder to find. Children are there all day, and we often have church events in the evening.

And finally, if you are a home educator and your husband is a Pastor, here are…
10 Top Tips:
  1. Love Jesus. Don’t give up prayer and reading your Bible. Meet with other believers and encourage and be encouraged. Keep in touch with friends who will spur you on in your faith.

  1. Love your family. Don’t resent your husband or your children, but serve them and care for them. Make time to see your husband so you can talk properly. Spend time listening to your children as well as getting them through their work or their chores.

  1. Love your church family. Don’t resent them either! Pray for them and serve them. Welcome them into your home.

  1. Remember that your children are your ministry. You have years and years to disciple them. You know them better than anyone else. Bringing up your children, teaching them the Bible and giving them a God-centred education is your ministry, and a hugely valuable one.

  1. Choose how to serve the church family wisely. You can't do everything. Remember that it is service Рit is about building others up, not for your personal fulfilment. You may miss leading Bible studies, but perhaps now you are called to helping out with the cr̬che.

  1. “Pseudo-rest”. When you are exhausted, preparing Sunday school or marking Latin in your pyjamas may be the nearest thing you get to an early night- and it does sort-of work (but isn’t a good long term strategy!).

  1. Talk to your husband about what’s happening in the house. You need to know if there is an elders’ meeting in the front room. From experience, it is also best if your husband discovers that you have invited nineteen children and their mums around before they arrive so that he can arrange to be out!
  1. Thank God for the blessings of this way of life. Try to avoid the traps of envy or complaining. Most people are busy (and it’s not a competition). Everyone finds life difficult at times, even if their children are at school or their husbands work more conventional hours. Some of them would love the good things that we enjoy!

  1. Celebrate the Lord’s Day. Sundays may seem busy or pressured, but be positive to your children about the joy of meeting with God’s people to hear God’s Word taught, to pray and to encourage each other. Make it fun; a special breakfast as a family, or ice cream for pudding after Sunday lunch are simple ways to mark it as a special day.

  1. Don’t give up! Some days will be awful. I have wept with my husband many times- over our children, over our church, out of exhaustion or out of sin. God is good. His Word is true. He gives us all we need (though not what we want, or what we think we need) to get up and serve him each day.

I’m Lizzy, married to Michael, who has been the Pastor at Honor Oak Christian Fellowship Centre for 18 months.
Before that we spent 4 years in East Grinstead, where Michael was an Assistant Minister at an evangelical Anglican church. We have 4 children, currently 9, 8, 6 and 3, who are home educated. I blog about our lives as a home educating Christian family at The Peaches at Home.

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