A Moment with The Homeschool Minute ~ Hey Mama – Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS

/ / Advertisement, Blog, Weekly Newsletter-The Homeschool Minute

Click on the banner below to sign up for the Homeschool Minute E-Newsletter, and receive weekly encouragement to guide you along your homeschooling journey.


Gena SuarezHey Mama, 

Homeschooling with babies and toddlers–now there’s a challenge. It’s especially difficult when you’re dealing with sleepless nights and sick days when the little ones just need their mama. But you can do it. The Lord gave you those beautiful children and called you to homeschool them, and He’ll help you with all the challenges you face.


These magazine articles can give you more advice than I can pass on in this column about practical ways to homeschool with littles:


3 Sanity Saving Strategies for Homeschooling with Toddlers – Terri Johnson

Homeschooling with Preschoolers – Deb Turner

Preschoolers to High Schoolers–All at Once – several articles on pages 148-168


You may want to read two free E-Books TOS published about homeschooling preschoolers, too. Visit the Schoolhouse Store and use the code preschool2013 to get them FREE!


I also want to talk to you about doubt. I heard you are doubting yourself again. Failure. Really? Let’s find out:


So here’s a check list. Let’s find out if you really failed:
  1. You genuinely loved on your children this week.
  2. Your house was/is far from spotless, but is certainly a healthy environment. (Look at your kids; they’re fine.)
  3. You made delicious meals this week–many times. (Look at your kids. If anything, they’re chunky monkeys. They’re not starving.)
  4. They learned this week. You had conversations with them. You taught them. You were a role model. Perfect? Please. WHO is?
  5. There was progress made for certain behavior modifications. Huge leaps? Maybe not, but progress.
  6. They giggled a lot this week. In fact, if anything, they’re a little *too* secure in your love and acceptance of them.
  7. There’s music in your home. Well, maybe we won’t call it that, but your kids do. (Look at them; you dare to tell them their music isn’t real?)
  8. LAUGHTER happened this week in your home. Crying did too, but that’s part of life, and it’s better they see a realistic home than some fakey phoney one. YOU are no charlatan, Mama. You kept it real.
  9. God’s word prevails in your home. You look to the Lord as your highest authority, and the King of kings is your Father. You are leading your children to Him. You’re not perfect, but you do model faith and commitment to the Lord of lords.
  10. And lastly, your kids love you. Look at the way they want you to WATCH them do this, and WATCH them to that. They don’t even want to do a cartwheel without “the Mama” seeing their accomplishments. “Watch me, Mama . . . look at meeeeee!.”

Funny how they look to you, Mama. They want your favor; they want you to be proud of them. It’s because you are the one they run to when they fall down. You have always wiped their tears; your compassion is ever-ready and available. And Mama, they always remember that care you so freely gave. There may be breaks during the relationship. They may run a foolish mile. Pray for them, cry out to the Lord for them, and remember that you sowed godly seeds into them all their life; these won’t return void. God has a plan even then. In the meantime, love those babies and keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on the right track.


~ gena



Sponsor ArticleThe Sounding Joy is a spirited collection of Christmas carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger’s 1953 songbook, American Folk Songs for Christmas. Featuring Elizabeth Mitchell and a luminary list of her musical family, friends, and neighbors, this album celebrates the spirit of community and homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas. Natalie Merchant, Aoife O’Donovan, Dan Zanes, Peggy Seeger, and many others add their voices to pay tribute to a collection revered in the canon of American music. Songs include “Mary Had a Baby,” “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” and “Christmas Day in the Morning.”

GRAMMY-nominated Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Elizabeth Mitchell spent Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago thinking about the project that would eventually become her Christmas album, The Sounding Joy. A longtime fan and champion of Ruth Crawford Seeger’s work, Mitchell found herself thoroughly immersed in Seeger’s third and final songbook, American Folk Songs for Christmas.  Seeger, mother of musicians Mike and Peggy Seeger and stepmother of Pete Seeger, died from cancer at age 52 in 1953, the very same year American Folk Songs for Christmas was published.


Mitchell chose to strike a balance between remaining faithful to the beauty and subtle complexity of Seeger’s unique arrangements, and bringing her own breadth and range as a producer and arranger to bear on these largely unknown traditional songs. The wide diversity of voices, players, and instruments on the album breathes new life into words first sung over a century ago by farmhands, country preachers, and small-town congregations, and gospel groups.


Adapting a number of Seeger’s piano arrangements for a string trio and inventive percussion, Mitchell radiates warmth on “Ain’t That Rocking” and “Shine Like a Star.” Amy Helm leads a rousing version of “Last Month of the Year” through a groove and vocal quartet style that invokes the early Staple Singers with guitar figures reminiscent of Malian desert blues. Recordings not from the songbook include classics “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and an a cappella arrangement of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” a “family heirloom” arranged by Elizabeth’s father-in-law, Michael Storey Littleton.


Mitchell sums up the spirit of the album best in her notes: “However you and your loved ones celebrate the last month of the year, I hope it is filled with the sounds of joy.”



Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

Pin It on Pinterest