Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homeschooling While Dealing with Illness or Bedrest aka REDEEM YOUR TIME

This is my answer (with some additional thoughts) to a woman going through a challenging time with her health while she homeschools her 8 year old daughter. It is my hope it encourages and blesses someone else.

"I have been very sick and often bedridden through 7 of my 10 pregnancies. I kept homeschooling. I homeschooled a full schedule when I felt well enough and I made the most of those days.

When I didn't, I made sure the entertainment in our house was redeeming the time by making it quality educational entertainment. Videos, YouTube, unit studies, student driven learning, computer programs, LeapFrog and other educational toys, quality educational readers (aka Living Books), homemade tapes and booklets, them reading to me when I had to stay "flat," etc all helped get us through the tough times.

At times we would fall behind, but I trusted God had a plan for that in our lives. I have seven children now and teach five while I take care of two babies, cook and manage our busy household. The skills I learned through pregnancy work today for the normal busy-ness.

The children are caught up and are ahead of the traditional school schedule. They have learned so much through my rough pregnancies character-wise that I am thankful I kept going and did not give up homeschooling them. They have compassion for the sick. They are quick to see a need and jump to answer it. God uses the difficult things in our lives to teach us and mold us for His use. Make the most of these precious opportunities and continue to homeschool.

Redeem the time by making even "entertainment" educational. Life is short. Time is too precious to spend on useless (foolish) pursuits when there are things we can pursue that GIVE to us or others. Evaluate how your family spends their time and work to make it quality. Redeem your time!

When you feel well, multi-task. For example: If I am supervising one child who is cooking, I am washing dishes and cleaning behind them with a baby playing with the measuring cups and rice or pasta nearby. Another child is helping with mixing or measuring ingredients while someone else is reading the recipe while an older child may be looking up the science of the cooking we are doing.

You can do this, but it will be challenging. Your child's education and spiritual nurturing is worth it to stick with it even during the tough times."

Ephesians 5:15-18 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Incredible Man

My husband works two jobs to support us. Because we are a large family, people like to speculate how we do it. God has provided more than we need through Clint. While we are not wealthy by any means, we are able to often help others and tithe weekly. We have never been on any form of assistance from the government or any other organization.

Clint's full time job is very demanding and he is on call 24/7. He often has to work late. When we have gone on vacation, he has fielded calls from his co-workers to help make their jobs easier. His part time job is on the weekends he does not have to work for his full time job.

Clint not only works full time, but he also maintains all of our older vehicles and our home repair needs. He has made $60,000 worth of repairs to our home since Hurricane Isabel caused the damage. He did all of that without going into any debt. The only debt we have is our home and it is halfway to being paid off. Being as debt free as possible was through Clint's leadership. With the troubling economic times our country is facing, I am very thankful for it.

Since the flood six years ago, Clint has replaced all of our major appliances, most of the wiring in the house, plumbing, a complete bathroom, walls, floors, over a dozen big pieces of furniture, a complete kitchen, our well, all of our cars, clothing, entertainment items, livestock, added two rooms, etc, etc, ETC. He did this with his own two hands while providing for a growing family with changing needs. (We have had four pregnancies and two births to pay for since the hurricane too.) Clint has not only replaced all we lost, but he's given us back more and better than we had before Isabel.

Clint not only provides for our physical needs, but he also looks to our spiritual needs by leading us in worship and Bible studies. He also takes his time to gently correct our seven children in a way that is consistent with Scripture. He doesn't stop with "You need to XXXX." but explains why one needs to be honest, kind, patient, forgiving, etc. and explains what God has to say about it. Every night right before bed, Clint joins hands with me and leads us in prayer for those on our family's prayer list, our family and much more.

Clint calls throughout the day to see what activities the children and I are doing. He often talks to all of us and tells us he loves us and is praying for us. If we have a friend facing a problem, he will ask me if I have learned anything new about the situation.

He is a Romans 12:16 type of Christian. He goes to the people no one else will go to and shares God's love and gives them a hand. He is not afraid to associate with people in "low positions."

Whatever time he can spare for it, he is repairing fences, gathering and splitting wood, maintaining our computers and outdoor machines (weedeater, lawn mowers, tiller), working in the yard and helping with the garden. Right now, a toilet, a sink, a washing machine and much more are waiting on his attention. Because I want to truly be his helpmeet, I do whatever I can in any area I can to help take the burden off of him. Contrary to some speculation, I do not cut grass or split wood because he makes me do it. Clint has never forced anything upon me. In fact, he'll take a burden off of me before he puts one on me!!

Nearly every week and often 2-3 times a week, Clint takes me out on a date. It might be a walk on the beach or dinner in a nice restaurant. It could be at home watching a movie. It never matters as long as we are together. We have never been able to get enough time with each other.

Clint puts up with me. 'Nuff said! :-)

Clint does our bills because he doesn't want to add to my list of duties. He takes our children to the doctor because he does not want me to have to drag the smaller children to the office with me. He also likes to know firsthand what is going on with the health of his children.

When I have been pregnant and on bedrest due to hyperememsis gravidarum, he has taken care of me, the house and our children. He went along on every prenatal visit so he could learn how mama and baby are doing. He has been there for every heartbeat, every ultrasound and at every birth he has been hands on! He has also been there when our babies have died.

Homeschooling is better because of his interest and participation. He loves to join us on field trips so the entire family can be together on these wonderful outings. He recently sat through a torturous art discussion at a local museum because I wanted to go.

When I run the errands, Clint enjoys going because it gives us more time together. I am always grateful for his help loading and unloading. He often can locate the hard to find item that I have searched for all over the aisles.

Clint not only looks to the needs of our family, but he is quick to help others. Last night, the wind and rain were blowing hard and a woman was having great difficulty carrying her large flat item to her car. When I pointed out the lady's struggle, Clint ran helped her. Then he came to load our groceries and asked me to get into the truck so I could be warmer.

Clint has counseled many men in areas of death, faith, family, marriage and so forth. He always makes time for these men when they call upon him to talk and he keeps their confidences closely guarded. He has been called to the deathbed of two close friends. Even though it cost him much, he went and watched these men die.

My husband is not perfect. He misses things sometimes, like a $22 check that was recently lost, but he's allowed. He does more in one day than most people do in one week. He is the most incredible, humble, selfless person I know on the face of this earth and my love for him is second only to God.

Before we married, I had this image of a husband as someone who sat around in a recliner watching t.v. after supper while the wife did the dishes every night. I am thankful God did not send me or my children that kind of a man! Our life as it is today would not be possible without Clint being the man he is!

Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wonderful Children's Book for Easter

This is a beautifully illustrated children's book that tells the Easter story in a heart touching way.
I was brought to tears when reading how the little girl did not appreciate the thoughtful gift her father sent here because it correlates to our Father's Gift.

The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs is a Gold Medallion Book Award recipient. You can purchase it through Amazon by clicking on the link or get an account with Paperback Swap and see if they have it available or add to your wish list.
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