The Homeschool Minute ~ Starting Your New Year Off Right!

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Starting Your New Year Off Right!  
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Gena SuarezHey Mama,


So much to be thankful for. Look at this time last year. You have grown. There have been trials, tribulations, problems, hurtful seasons, and pain. There has also been joy, new life, friends who have stayed closer than a brother, and blessings from the Lord’s hand so direct that you know it was Him. Of course it was Him.

You have grown. Your children have grown. The tapestry … more threads every day. It will gloriously hang about your shoulders when you are old, holding you tight. You will look back and see that while things were not always perfect and even done very badly, God is the God of hope and peace, of love and second chances. The tapestry continues to weave under His watchful eye. He holds it up and continues to build up what He has purposed.

What will you be known for? Will your tapestry tell a story of perseverance, great trust in the Lord. And faithfulness to the end? That is our goal, Mama. But all of the greatest men and women of the Bible, even Abraham whom God referred to as “friend,” had rotten seasons. Really rotten. But they did not give up. They were found faithful to the end.

And we too are made righteous through Christ. He makes clean our very core. The tapestry weaves and braids, moves in and out, winding, interlinking, twisting, looping and inter-folding – and by His hands. This means His hand … as always … is on your head today.

Walk thankfully. You who are in Christ have a future that is good–very good. Leave your children squarely in His hands. Set your troubles at His feet. Cast your cares on Him, the One who cares for you. Joy comes in the morning.

Have a blessed new year with Him!


~ gena

PS. If you need some encouragement or ideas for your homeschool for this new year, read our November/December issue  (especially Deborah Wuehler’s article “I Don’t Have Time“) or any of our back issues.

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Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

From the January 2, 2013 issue of THM

Dear Friends,


Happy New Year! May this new year be filled with ever-increasing joy for you and your family.


Now, unlike homeschooling moms in the southern hemisphere who are just getting ready to start school (it is mid-summer there!), you are probably facing a wall of inertia at the moment. I mean, didn’t you just give every ounce of energy into creating a fabulous Christmas experience for your family? Not only that, only a few months ago you launched a new school year for your kids! Whew!! No wonder an insurmountable wall of inertia is looming over you.


So, what’s a mom to do? Here are three suggestions that come from my own struggles to get through that wall, particularly when January is so grey and tedious.


Here’s the list:

    • Inspire
    • Analyze
    • Energize

First of all, Inspire. When facing obstacles of any sort, it has been remarkably helpful to read someone else’s story about how they overcame the odds, broke through the wall, and achieved their goals. Inspiration provides that first step of getting our hearts to believe that it is possible to keep going.  That is why we love stories of people like Joni Eareckson Tada and Corrie ten Boom, because they remind us that there is incredible blessing on the other side of our pain.


The second step is Analyze. Take some time–alone, with your spouse, or with an encouraging friend to ask yourself specifically what factors are weighing you down. Are you the Type-A driven homeschool mom who can never say “no,” and who thinks that if maxing out is good then adding a few more pieces would be even better? (I can speak from experience on that one: simplify, simplify, simplify!)  Do you have a child who is not thriving on that expensive curriculum, but you are determined to wring every bit of value you can out of it? (Simply put, which is more valuable, your child or the money you spent on the curriculum?) Are you suffering the exhaustion of trying to keep up with the homeschooling version of the Joneses? (Ah, dear one, no one keeps up with those guys. Did you know they don’t really exist?) Write down the specific issues and then prayerfully and carefully consider your options. What can you put out with the trash???


Finally, Energize. As a Homeschool Practitioner, I am going to write you a prescription for beating the winter blues. Make lots of room in your heart, your mind, and your schedule to add in great doses of humor, fun, and games! It will provide an energizing zest for both you and your children, making each day easier and more profitable for all.


That’s it! Happy New Year!!


Remember, stay relational.



The Familyman 

I don’t know about you, but I’m still working on the OLD year. In fact, ours ended with a fizzle. Not only did we miss all of the Thanksgiving celebration because of sickness in the house, but we also missed most of the Christmas celebration (different sickness), and as I type this our New Year’s celebration isn’t looking too promising either.

In spite of that, God has been so good to us in 2014, and if I wasn’t too depressed to start the new year with a bang, I’d start it with a bang!!

Truth is, I’m not ready to start a new year. New Year’s means beginnings, gearing up, plans, and resolutions. I think I’ll start my new year out by easing into it and enjoying the remaining days of Christmas break (Valentine’s Day is a good day to begin school). You should too … ease into it, that is.

Instead of planning for your new year, why not spend these last few days playing games with your children, straightening up your desk, working on your scrapbook, or staying up late watching your favorite family videos?

Can I encourage you to stay off the INTERNET, Facebook, Pinterest, and your smart phone? Those things are family-sucking devices and keep you distracted from what matters most.

So, use plenty of hand sanitizer and enjoy the last day of 2014 and the next few days of 2015 with your family.

Be real,


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