How I Taught My Profoundly Dyslexic Daughter to Read {on Grade Level}

How I Taught My Profoundly Dyslexic Daughter to Read {on Grade Level}

There's little that strikes more fear into a homeschool mom's heart than the idea of teaching their child to read. It seems that every aspect of their child's future success is hinged upon this necessary, often ominous, skill. I know some homeschool parents that send their children to school for kindergarten and first grade, just to skip the stress of it! So, for a new homeschool mom to be greeted with a child whom she is doing everything "by the book" for and nothing seems to be sticking... well, it honestly feels like their deepest fears of inadequacy are coming to fruition. 

You can feel like you must be the biggest homeschool failure in the world when you've been working diligently to teach your child phonics for over a year, and they still know less than a handful of sounds. You can be certain you've ruined your child's future when they are 7, and despite working to identify letter NAMES since they were 4, they still visibly struggle to name each letter. You can feel like pulling your hair out when you child sounds out CCCCC-AAAAAA-TTTTTT on one page, then sees it again 8 more times in the SAME book (seconds apart) and STILL has to sound it out like she's never seen the word in her life every single time...

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Restoring + Redeeming Your Marriage

Restoring + Redeeming Your Marriage

I love my husband. We've been married for over 15 years and together nearly 25 at the ripe old age of 36. He's literally sewn into my existence. We are like peas and cornbread- absolutely inseparable. Except back when we were separable- back when we were making our own rules, following our own feelings, and generally doing life (including marriage) our own way.

Way back when, we were stuck together but we both had some strong moments of being ready for that to not be the case. I'll never forget those days. Those long nights of fights and tears- when he finally decided enough was enough. Those are raw, unshakeable memories for two reasons. Obviously for the unshakeable pain entrenched in them for both of us, but even more so for the unspeakable redemption and joy that came out of it all. 

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Stuff I Love Too Much {January}

Stuff I Love Too Much {January}

I tend to be a passionate sharer. Like, when I LOVE something, everyone around me hears about it. Relentlessly. My husband loves this about me. I want everyone else to love it like I love it because I love to share a love of something with someone (that's a whole lot of love).

So in that spirit, I want to share "Stuff I Love Too Much" for January with you. This will always be an incredibly odd collaboration. I will also reign myself in and stick to 6 or fewer things (pinky swear).

First up. I have 2 current book obsessions...

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Your 2018 Prayer Guide {tips for time with God}

Your 2018 Prayer Guide {tips for time with God}

New years are beautiful and also kind of dreadful. I love the "fresh start" mentality, but I also immediately begin to dread the upcoming failure of 99.9% of my resolutions- which is why I stopped making them a few years ago. Can't fail if you don't try, right? 

But then I looked at God's creation. We are constantly greeted with opportunities for new. We get new days, new seasons, new years, new mercies. We are new creations in Christ. God loves creation and new beginnings. He even gives people new names. I love that about him! And I love that he endowed me with that same zeal for beginnings, do-overs, and fresh starts. 

So, rather than resolutions, I choose a word and a few goals. Nothing special or new, but this year, I want to be really intentional about TRACKING my prayers and having deeply focused prayer covering every area of my life. I am believing God for some really big things this year, and I don't want to FORGET that I asked for it in the first place.

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3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 3}

3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 3}

In part 1 and part 2 of this series (definitely go back and read those first if you haven't) we tackled the big question of evaluating our REASON for homeschooling in the first place and then used some worksheets to curate a homeschool vision. 

Our big question # 2 is this: Are you being REALISTIC with your expectations for homeschooling based on your personality, the abilities of your child, the availability of your husband, and the number of hours in the day? In other words, are your expectations appropriate or even reasonable?

Hear me first on this, mama: When you homeschool, you are NOT a "stay at home mom". You are a work from home mom. You are a TEACHER who works at home- degree or not. You are wholly responsible for your child's education (which is BOTH terrifying and a huge honor.) 

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All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

All About Reading: How it Works for Our Family {a detailed review}

When I first began homeschooling, the responsibility that intimidated me more than any other was teaching my own children to read. I have always been an avid reader, and I desperately wanted to instill a love of reading in my kids. I realized very quickly, however, that my love of reading did not automatically qualify me to teach someone else HOW to read. Because I had no background in teaching reading, I knew I needed to find a program that could walk ME through the process as well as my child. We tried several different programs in the beginning, but they either bored my child to tears or proceeding so quickly that she felt overwhelmed, and I felt lost without a map. 

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3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 2}

3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 2}

{This is part 2 of a 5 post series, so if you're just finding this, hop back over here to read the introduction to this challenging topic.}

If you're reading this (and I hope you read part 1 first), it's probably because you're a homeschooling mom who is COMPLETELY burned out. You can no longer see the purpose in why you are doing this. You can no longer see the value in working SO hard, when other people don't- and they're kids turn out ok... right? I mean, YOU probably weren't homeschooled, and you turned out just awesome! So WHY do something that's just so stinking hard that leaves you questioning your sanity and constantly fretting over your child's future and your relationship with your child?  

So, let's gain some perspective first before you call it quits completely and have the kids waiting on the bus on Monday!

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How I'm Homeschooling {like a boss} Part 2

How I'm Homeschooling {like a boss} Part 2

I hope part 1 of this series was an encouragement to you! We are all making a new way as we walk through our homeschool adventure, and it's challenging for each of us in different ways, at different times. My heart is that you always know you aren't alone! AND, I hope I can share some practical tips about how our days are running and which curricula we are using (and what we tried and dropped) this school year. 

I have used a system like this for about 5 years now and despite seeming a little time-consuming to plan, it leaves me feeling relatively confident that our days have some rhythm and rhyme to them. I tend to schedule down to the minute because I'm a type A, control freak... but, I also give us tons of space and grace. I expect that this fancy schedule will actually pan out like 2% of the time. The rest is hit or miss, and that's ok.

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5 Ways to Grow in Respect for Your Husband {and maybe heal your marriage}

5 Ways to Grow in Respect for Your Husband {and maybe heal your marriage}

Confession: I have not always respected my husband, treated him in a respectful way, or even thought he was someone who I ought to respect.

I'm going to assume that my husband and I are not the only ones who have ever struggled in their marriage, had deep valleys to drudge through, or huge learning curves to overcome when it comes to pursuing Biblical marriage? I'm going to assume we aren't the only one who've hit rock bottom, maybe signed some divorce papers (and then burned them in the fire)? If you have walked through some seriously rocky times in your marriage, I hope that some of the lessons we've learned together can be an encouragement to you.

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