I continue to be amazed by the talents God has blessed homeschoolers with. It’s a pleasure to look through these wonderful resources each week. Hope you enjoy them!
Free Math Placement Test
Learn Math Fast’s big math bookmark was a huge hit, so this week the site has another freebie for us. Quickly and easily determine what grade level your child is working at in math.
13 Questions to Help You Determine God’s Will (Great for Making Curriculum Decisions!)
Last week I had to make an important decision and my friend, Barb, directed me to her decision-making post for the second time. It was SO helpful that I realized it could help us homeschool moms decide on curriculum and other schooling issues as well. Pin it so you’ll have it when you need it.
Library Scavenger Hunt
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the kids to the library (my husband took them this summer), so I love No Twiddle Twaddle’s idea of sending them on a scavenger hunt. I think they will, too.
20 Activities for Tween-Age Boys
Can I ever use these ideas! I have a tweenager who is incredibly creative in imagining reasons he should be allowed to have more game time. Fortunately, Frugal Fun 4 Boys is just as creative in giving us these game-free activities.
Make Your Focus-Challenged Child His Own Cubicle
I was SO excited when I saw this idea because I was thinking like a psychologist. These homemade room dividers are not only attractive, but they are just the thing for a child who is easily distracted. Thank you, Organizing Made Fun!
Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills
I have five boys and none of them have had the motor skills that my daughter had. Fine motor skills are what enable a child to dress himself, tie his shoes, write, and draw. Hands on as We Grow has a wonderful list of fun ideas for developing fine motor skills that work for all ages.
More Hot Stuff!
This week I have a bonus tip that I shared on my Facebook Page that is for homeschoolers only. Be sure to visit the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network page and “Like” it to hear about the launch of these podcasts. You just might recognize one of the hosts. More later!
After sharing one way of deciding what to do with our time, I wanted to share a second way that works for me. JOY stands for Jesus, Others, and Yourself.
As Jesus is the One Who has given us all of our time, we ought to give Him the first fruits of it. For me, this means regularly having devotions the first part of the day. Spending time with the Lord became very easy for me when I chose to spend the time in a way I enjoy. I like variety, but right now, I read several devotionals, then a chapter of the Bible or two, and end with prayer.
Putting Jesus first doesn't just mean giving Him our time; it also means asking Him what He would have us do with our time. I have come to enjoy my alone time with God so much that I can get a little cranky when my husband crashes the party! But I know that Jesus' desire is that I devote my time to my husband as well because the O in JOY is for
We know from Jesus' example that we are to put others before ourselves. If I have done what I know the Lord would have me do, then I can ask myself what my husband would have me do. I can even ask him directly! Fortunately, my husband and I are on the same page about what needs to be done for the most part. Some days, however, I must admit that he would rather have me do laundry when I'd rather be reading. You single ladies, take note!
After doing things that would please my husband, I can decide if my children are in need or would be particularly blessed by something I could do. Some mornings, breakfast is all the blessing I can muster! But on other days, I may decide that I've put off doing a craft or just playing with them long enough. I have a large family, but I need to consider the needs of other family members, friends, and co-workers as well. Any commitments I have made to others should come before my to-do's.
Finally, we can think about ourselves. You might be wondering how on earth we can be all things to everyone who needs us and still have time to do anything for ourselves! Some days that's a real challenge for me. But here is the blessing.
First, spending time with the Lord and giving to others is the best thing I can do for me. My energy and mood are renewed. Second, God can guide us in what to do for others and when. He doesn't expect us to run around serving everyone. Sometimes the best way to serve others is to allow them to depend on God or learn to meet their own needs. He gives us the discernment we need when we need it. Third, some seemingly selfish activities are actually serving the Lord and others, too. For example, my husband loves it when I exercise and the kids love having an energetic, less-stressed mom as a result.
How can we use TODAY, TOMORROW, and TOWARD together with JOY for deciding what to do on any given day? Here's how your to-do list might look:
- What would Jesus have me do today?
- What do my husband, kids, friends, co-workers/boss need me to do for them today?
- What do I need to do for me today?
- What would Jesus have me do today to prepare for tomorrow, next week, or next month?
- What would my husband, kids, friends, co-workers have me do to prepare for tomorrow, next week, or next month?
- Who do I need to do for myself today in advance of tomorrow, next week, or next month?
- What goals or dreams would Jesus have me work toward today?
- What goals or dreams would the people I love and work with want me to help them work toward today?
- What goals or dreams do I want to work toward today?
Some days, you may spend all day on #1, but you won't be sorry like you would be if you just web surfed the day away. Give the JOY method a try!