Farmers are a season ahead, but God is in Today

by Dawn Oaks on August 26, 2015 · 0 comments

These days seem to be marked with struggles to live in the present.  As our oldest recently left for college, there were so many moments when I found my mind drifting back to the past.  Moments of her learning to walk, teaching her to read just before bed as we poured over Charlotte’s Web, and watching her grow into the young adult that she is today.

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As farmers, we find ourselves spending a whole lot of time in the future.  Our lives seem to always revolve around preparing for the next season.  As summer is drawing to a close, we are hauling and chopping wood for the wood stove.  The finishing touches are being placed on canning vegetables from the garden.  Animals are being butchered to fill the freezer and today we are rendering lard that will be frozen and used throughout the winter.  I see Gary with that faraway look as he calculates the amount of hay we will need, checks the weather forecast, and ponders how much is already stored up.  Fuel cans are being filled to be sure that the generator can keep the milking equipment running through any power outages.

The challenge is however that God asks us simply to live in the moment and to trust Him.  How easy it is to find ourselves filled with regrets over how things might have been done differently in the past.  How tempting to worry over what is to come.  God’s grace is new each day, but like the manna provided to the Israelites in the desert it is only fitting for the day that it is given.  His mercies will be new tomorrow to meet the needs of that day.

So as we prepare for what is to come- both the expected and unexpected – let us remember that God is in today and simply asks us to worship and serve Him in this moment.

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Homeschooling Where You are Planted

by Dawn Oaks on August 12, 2015 · 1 comment

During the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, we have chatted about setting goals for your school year and also realizing that you just can’t fit it all in.  Today’s topic is about Homeschooling Where You are Planted.  Finding freedom in knowing that God has planted you and your family right where you are at this moment in time can be a wonderful realization.  It is actually the key to cutting out the roots of discontentment and doubts.

Where You Are Planted

When we began homeschooling a decade ago, our life was very different.  In our first year, our daughters were in the middle of their elementary school years, our son was a first grader with some learning struggles, and our baby was just that – a baby.  We had converted our dining room into a schoolroom and began our journey.  During those early days, we learned to do the subjects that required extra attention during the baby’s naptime and later when we placed him in the bathtub with finger paints to stay confined and entertained.  The girls were an ideal age to combine science and history into a shared learning time.  It was also a period of intense learning and growing in educating our son who struggled with learning issues.

Throughout our years educating our children at home, we have been a self-employed family whose sole income has been from our family run farm for most of these years.  Running a farm is a family business that requires all hands on deck.  There are days when there are emergencies with the animals, hay that needs to be hauled, or wood that needs to be chopped to heat our home.  FLEXIBILITY is the buzzword for success around our house.  Our children have learned that the needs of the farm must take priority as they provide for our very existence.  This is a valuable lesson, but a difficult one when they want to have a playdate with friends or when I would love to lavish them with violin or art lessons in town.

Even farmers can start to believe that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  After all, our cows certainly think so…

Friends that have only one child and live in a subdivision seem to be able to enjoy an abundance of field trips and incorporate lots of extracurricular activities into the schedule.  Do you hear the envy setting in? The funny thing is that on occasion I can hear that mom talk of the struggles of not having those lively group discussions over a topic in history that families with multiple children have. The need to be intentional in teaching her child patience since there is no one to wait behind to get the help needed on a math lesson is another challenge in homeschooling an only child.

As our family begins our tenth year of homeschooling this year, life has taken us to a new place once again.  We are experiencing the true moving up of one of our students as our oldest leaves for college.  Our school year will be delayed in starting because we all feel like we need to make this transition and adjust to our new normal a bit more before diving into our studies.  We will also be busy as our second oldest begins her senior year and all that comes with that in preparing to graduate and take on what comes next.  Our boys are now in high school and middle school.  Their interests are becoming more defined and rather than dealing with learning issues and challenges of having a toddler underfoot, we are developing skills and character as they start seeing themselves as young men rather than the little boys of the family.

Changes are a part of life.  We all encounter different developmental stages with our children.  Our situations and challenges vary.  But don’t let the differences get you down or discouraged.  God has divinely appointed you to be where you are right now with all of the joys and struggles that this time and place may hold.  He is orchestrating a great story revealing Himself in you and your children that would not have quite the same ending if it were not weaved through the yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows specially designed for you.

Your experience will not be the same as the other families in your neighborhood, church, or homeschool group.  But take heart in knowing that God never lets you out of His hands.

Speaking of differences, I invite you to enjoy the banquet of different topics being shared through the other bloggers participating in the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.  Here a few more that you may want to check out:

Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Aurie @ Our Good Life
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Katie @ DailyLife
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time

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The Myth of Fitting It All In

August 11, 2015

Several years ago, friends visited us while on furlough during missionary service in an area near Siberia in Russia.  Over dinner one night, we began asking them all kinds of questions about life in Russia and the greatest challenges they faced in coming back to the States on furlough.  I was surprised by their response. […]

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Keeping Your Eyes on the Big Picture

August 10, 2015

Our topic for this first day of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop is Keeping Your Eyes on the Big Picture.  Many times, this is much easier said than done. I remember as a small child being asked what I wanted to do when I grew up.  It is funny to go back and reflect […]

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Come Join Us for the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

August 10, 2015

I am so excited to announce that all this week I will be sharing various posts on Getting Back to Homeschool as part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.  This Blog Hop is being co-sponsored by The Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection. There will be an abundance of great articles to help […]

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The Conversation – Product Review

August 3, 2015

This review is for you homeschool mommas out there; especially those among you contemplating whether homeschooling through the high school years is the right course for your family.  The answer is Yes, You Can be Successful Homeschooling the High School Years. The Conversation from Classical Conversations speaks to the heart in helping to formulate what […]

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Invisible in Christ

August 2, 2015

Our culture today is very much focused on our personal rights.  In just watching my newsfeed on Facebook or through regular media channels, we see the fight over our rights related to health care issues, what constitutes legal marriage, the right to life versus the right to choose, educational choices and parental rights, and even […]

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Adding Audio Drama to your Civil War Studies

July 31, 2015

Sometimes adding something fun into our studies can make all the difference in the enthusiasm our children bring to their schoolday.  We were thrilled to have the opportunity to review With Lee In Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions as a follow up to our study of the Civil War. What We Received: For this review, […]

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Unlocking Your Child’s Math Abilities with UnLock Math

July 30, 2015

Math is just one of those subjects that can be hard sometimes to fit the needs of both your child and you as the teacher.  We were fortunate to have an opportunity to review a new math resource for the upper level grades from UnLock Math.  UnLock Pre-Algebra is a complete on-line math curriculum in […]

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Just What Do You Do with Elective Requirements?

July 29, 2015

I love to have a map and to know exactly what is expected.  When we began our journey homeschooling the high school years, elective credits were both exciting and a little bit overwhelming.  What should go in this box?  Are there right and wrong ways to use elective credits?  What if I lead my child […]

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