Tag Archives: parenting

Parenting Made Practical ~ a Crew review

Being a parent is hard, so resources to help us along the way can be terribly beneficial. Parenting Made Practical strives to help parents raise their children well through materials such as the DVD and workbook combination  Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate… What Works?

parenting made practical

Parenting Made Practical was created by Joey and Carla Link. The Links are parent educators who have worked for many years in various ministries and educational settings. Much of the material they have created and share have been developed because of needs that they saw and dealt with during the ministries, as well as how they handled the parenting of their own children, now grown. The goal of Parenting Made Practical is to “encourage, equip, and empower parents to raise obedient, respectful, and responsible children in today’s challenging world.” I love this goal! This is what every parent I know wants to do and the Links have set about helping parents the best ways they know how.

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate… What Works? is part of the Parent’s Night Out workshop that the Links present. It is presented here separate from the rest of the workshop and is directed both at parents and at teens/young adults old enough to be thinking about dating, in any form.

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate...What Works? DVD & Workbooks

The DVD and workbooks are set up in two sessions, each running approximately 50 minutes. The first session is titled Developing Your Dating Philosophy. The second session is titled How to Make It Work.

In Developing Your Dating Philosophy the Links present three different dating “philosophies” or ways of getting to know someone of the opposite gender. They share what they see as the pros and cons of each philosophy. After looking at Cultural Dating and Courtship Dating, the Links present Friendship Dating. This is, obviously, their preferred approach to dating. They spend quite a bit of time presenting the framework for how they approach this type of dating. They explain the four corners of growth and then define the levels of a relationship leading to marriage within each area. They also look at the areas of concern to address, and how the couple in the relationship take responsibility for growth in all of the areas.

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In How to Make It Work, the Links present ideas about how to approach Friendship Dating with young adults, and how to put this process into action. They review the four corners of growth and the levels of the relationship. Then they share possible goals for each area. This is the “practical application” part of the DVD and workbook. The Links walk parents and those in the relationship through setting up goals, putting a plan into place, and getting affirmation by parents.

Due to the background of the Links, I expected there to be a much more direct biblical approach and application to this workshop. I was disappointed that the biblical direction was not very strong.

As parents, we had really looked forward to this DVD, hoping that it would give us more practical information on how to develop a philosophy on guy/girl relationships before our oldest daughter reaches the age at which she wants to talk about it. The session about Developing Your Dating Philosophy did not actually guide us in developing a philosophy. Rather it was expected that you would adopt the one presented on Friendship Dating. We did not feel that there were any fresh, new ideas presented here and the guidance for parents to create their own philosophy was missing.

This DVD did not resonate with us and seems very difficult to implement. It is not realistic to expect a couple to begin their relationship by mapping out a series of goals and lists, ignoring emotion and feeling. When there are so many lists to check and goals to meet, the human element and emotion is missing. Yet that is what drives deep and meaningful relationships. Why would we choose to hide this part of God’s plan?

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If you choose to purchase this, be aware that it takes some work to use the workbook alongside the DVD. There are paragraphs of additional information shared in the workbook, which is good, but makes it difficult to follow. Not all of the important ideas from the video are shared in the workbook and they flash on the screen fast. The workbook is a useful resource and could be used without the DVD, though it doesn’t appear to be sold that way.

The video quality of the DVD is very good. The lighting, video quality, and camera angles were well done. However, the sound quality was disruptive. There were significant variations in the voice levels and I had to constantly turn the volume up and down, depending on who was speaking. I normally listen to things with our volume level at 15. I had to turn Mrs. Link up to 35 most of the time but immediately turn it back down when Mr. Link began speaking. Addressing this would definitely help make the DVD a much more pleasant workshop to view.

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This could be a good program for parents who are confused about what they want to present to their children about dating. The examples on types of dating and the issues/concerns about them are helpful. There are good examples of how to deal with questions children may have and ideas of how to guide students as they grow into the area of wanting to spend more time with someone of the opposite gender.

In closing out this review, I want to share a thought that has stuck with me since I watched the DVD. I think it is a highlight of their video, though it really doesn’t have anything to do with dating philosophies.

If a teen doesn’t trust parents for help in guy/girl relationships, the bigger question is this – will they trust God?

Blessings,
At Home.

The Homeschool Review Crew was able to review several different materials from Parenting Made PracticalPlease take a look at some of their other materials, as well as find other families who looked at the DVD  Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate… What Works?. The other programs reviewed include:
Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think (book)

Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave (book)

Navigating the Rapids of Parenting (video)

Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think (Video) 

What Every Child Should Know Along the Way (book)

Click the banner below to read more reviews.

 

Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}

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Safe Place

The other day, my heart broke. As we were leaving violin class, a little boy, about 4, came sobbing, screaming, running down the stairs, flying past us. I waited a second before I moved so I could get out of the way of the adult that would obviously come chasing him. That didn’t happen but another adult that I knew came through the door at the top of the stairs with questions in her eye. I knew I needed to follow him. So I did, my heart breaking.

I flew down the stairs after him, fearful of what he was running from, but knowing he needed someone to help him. As I got to the hallway at the bottom of the stairs and turned to follow him, a woman stepped out of a classroom with terror on her face. Her little boy was screaming and running. She stepped out to meet him and console him and let him know he was okay.

Safe Place

I don’t need to tell you just how thankful I am that he found his mother, that he wasn’t running from any physical thing that was threatening him. It has brought two thoughts to mind though.

1 – For that sweet mama – He is safe and you are okay. That choice to leave him turned out okay in the end so don’t berate yourself any more. I could see you shielding your face as you climbed the stairs with your boys. I could see you avoiding eye contact and trying to not have to face anyone. I wish I could have reached out to you, to calm your fears of what others were thinking.  We are all so very grateful that he was fine and he knew where to find you. No one is judging you. No one thinks you are a bad mom. And I wish I had had a way to reach out to you. I could see the pain on your face as you held his hand and walked with him to your car. I could see the love written there, too, and the relief. You are a good mama and your children, they are special gifts. We are thankful that you love them and they are with you tonight.

And

2 – Do I run to my parent the same way that little boy did? He knew where his safe place was, even when he was no longer in sight of that safe place. His mama may have been out of his sight but he KNEW. And when he got frightened, scared, and worried, he took off just as fast as his little legs could carry him, running to the one who would make everything right.

Do I run to God like that when I make a mistake? When I am frightened or scared? When I can no longer see “my safe place?” Do you?

God tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He tells us to come to Him. To give Him our burdens, our weariness. When we do this, he gives us rest. This is the only rest that really matters. It is not rest that can be gained overnight in a comfy bed. This is the relief of the bone-deep weariness and burdens that plague life on earth. God asks us to come to him, come running, sobbing, frightened, scared. Come however you are. He will give you rest.

He also tells us about the son who has turned from the father’s way and was lost to him. In Luke 15:11-32, we find the story that many of us call the “Prodigal Son.” This son left the ways of the father, took all his “birthright” money, and turned his back on his dad, his family. But after hardship and trial came his way, this young man realized just how much love can carry you through and what he had actually abandoned. He ran home, throwing himself down at his father’s feet, and asking forgiveness.

He ran to the one who he KNEW, without a doubt, would reclaim him, would care for him and not throw him out again. But even better was the whole-hearted acceptance he received. His father did not just receive him; he embraced his son. His father cared for him better than the son ever imagined he would.

The son knew where his safe place was and he ran to it.

I need to run back to God, to find my safe place within his arms. And I know he will accept me, again. He tells us that. (Acts 2:38, Acts 13:38)

I am blessed to have a God who loves me so much that he provided a way for me to come back to him.

Blessings,
At Home.

The End or the Beginning?

printable-pages-for-2016-and-2017

An end and a beginning. Which do you see?

As the end of 2016 very quickly approaches, I see just that. An end. Finality. The finish line. But is it really? No. So, I find myself wondering.

– what did we do right?
– what did we succeed in?
– what did we make better?
– where did we grow?
– where do we need to do better?
– where do changes need to be made?
– where did we fall down?
– where did we fail?

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection and re-evaluation. But, did you notice that all of these statements have a “we” in them? There is a reason for that. I think of our family as a unit. We are a family and we look to help each other.

Still, what I do well affects others. What I fail at also affects them. So we are moving through this journey together. And when I evaluate and do better at my part in these things, I make our family stronger.

The end is clearly marked by the calendar but what if we took a new approach and looked at it solely as the beginning? This is my beginning. I am beginning a new set of goals. I am beginning a new year. A new outlook. An ending is often a sad time but beginnings are seen as opportunity. So take this new beginning as an opportunity for whatever it is you desire. And write those goals, or desires, down.

I tend to be very visual so I created these two little worksheets to help me think through the good, the bad, the ugly and to plan for where I can do better. I am going to post these in my notebook that I am beginning for Bible time/prayer time so that I see them often through the year and hopefully, it will help me. Remind me. Get me back on track when I wander. And help keep me accountable.

2016 In Review

2017 Goals

I am also tying the 2017 goals into my “one word” for the year – CRAVE. I will share more on that word next week, as I am still trying to work through all the ways I want to apply this in the next year.

Please print these and use them as you can see them benefitting you and your students or family. Please share, as well. All I ask is for you to link back to this page if you share them. Thank you!

At Home.

the-homeschool-review-crew-reflect-on-2016

Linking this post up with the Homeschool Review Crew bloggers’ Reflecting on 2016 linkup.

 

5 Days of Tips: Lookout for Freebies ( & don’t miss the ones here!)

Lookout for Freebies

I am constantly on the lookout for things that will benefit our education. These look different but are often digital products. I have a huge file of things on the computer that may or may not get used. But I keep saving things just in case. Remember the 4th tip I posted about following rabbit trails? Well, if you do that often enough, you might just have accidentally saved something that will help with one of those rabbit trails one of these days.

So, today, I am sharing some freebies for you from The Old Schoolhouse.

TOS logo

magazine cover

 

Have you ever looked at their magazine? No? Really? It’s free and chock full of academic, homeschooling articles that will encourage you. Just head over to the TOS website and read all about it. You can download their free app or you can purchase their annual big book.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul and Gena Suarez are the publishers and they are so amazingly generous. They let me go shopping in the TOS store. For Free! And, I get to offer you the products I chose. For Free! Here is what I have chosen:Spiritual Growth Bundle

Spiritual Growth Bundle – http://www.theoldschoolhouse.com/product/spiritual-growth-bundle/

This bundle includes three e-books: Home Improvement, Homeschooling: A Prayerful Journey, and Don’t Rush God.

Keeping The Garden

An e-book for the gardener, the gardener wanna-be, or the dreamer.
God Made Them All Wonder Bundle
A set of five WeE-books about alpacas, bugs, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

You will need to create an account in order to check-out. At check-out, use the code LHCREW16 to get these three items for free. This code is good through April 30, 2016, but go use it now so you don’t forget!!

And be on the lookout from other bloggers from TOS Review Crew. I have heard from a little birdie that there are some other freebies out there.

TOS freebies

Freebies, whether you need them now or not, are worth the gathering because they can enhance your learning when you least expect it. Or, they might just take one of those hard days where you want to throw it all out the window and rescue it with something new and interesting that helps the students focus. So don’t pass something up just because you don’t see a need for it now.

And, definitely go check out all that The Old Schoolhouse has to offer. Their products are worth the cost, even if you don’t have a coupon code to use. Also, head over to the Review Crew Facebook page and give them a “like” if you don’t mind. You’ll get lots of great encouragement from that page.
At Home.

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

This is the final day of the blog hop with 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents. I hope you have gained a lot of good tips over the week. Please visit my previous posts if you haven’t yet and please visit some of my friends from the Review Crew.

5 Days of Homeschool Tips: Make Time

This tip can go a lot of different ways. But it all relates to the same idea.

 We make time for the important things.

So we need to prioritize.

Prioritize who is important.
Prioritize what is important.
Prioritize what needs to be learned.
Prioritize where to focus.

Make Time

While I was sitting in Ladies’ Bible Class this morning, I had this thought come to me. We make time for the things we want to.

I know. That thought is not profound. It is nothing new under the sun. However, it kind of hit me hard after we had this amazing weekend.

We made time to focus on God on a weekend when so many people typically spend time with family and have egg hunts and take lots of pictures. Instead of “having Easter” we had a weekend filled with God.

So, my question to you is: what do you make time for?

Do you make time daily to read God’s word?

Do you make time daily to do something with your children other than formal schooling?

Do you make time daily to connect with someone who is important to you?

Do you make time for activities that will enrich your life?

Do you make time for those things that will take you where God wants you to go?

I want to encourage you to know what your priorities are and where you need to be headed. Know your goals and who you need beside you. Then, make time every day to be sure you are headed in the right direction.

Our most important goal is to have children that know and love God, who serve Him, and who have followed the Bible to salvation (hear, repent, believe, confess, be baptized, and live according to His word). We make time daily for that to happen, whether it is through a family devotional, Bible study time, or having Bible be a part of their school day. We make time for that by going to church and Bible classes and spending time with others from our church.

Do you know your priorities? Do you make time for them? If not, what are you making time for? Do you need to redirect?

This, more than anything else, will direct your life and, if you are a home educator, your homeschooling. So what do you make time for?

At Home.

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

Looking for more great ideas and tips? Check out other Review Crew members who are sharing tips all week long. Today, I encourage you to go visit these friends:

Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy

Break Bucket – Back to Homeschool

Break Bucket main image

Today I want to share with you an idea the was developed from a conversation with our doctor. It was just a passing comment a while back during a well child check up. Nothing prompted it but as part of the conversation, she mentioned making sure the kids take breaks during school time. I had not been making a conscientious effort to do that but her comment stuck with me. We were not having problems or behavior issues. We were not dealing with health issues. But the comment stuck. And the more I thought about it, the more I determined to do something about it. The Break Bucket was my solution.

Break Bucket

After every 30-45 minutes or after a couple of assignments, I ask the child to go get a stick from the Break Bucket. This is a cup that we love but has a crack in it, so it can’t hold liquid. It is filled with popsicle sticks on which I wrote a movement intensive activity and a time duration, if needed. The sticks are writing side down to start so the girls cannot see what they are picking. The child doesn’t get to go shopping in the bucket but rather has to take whatever stick is pulled. They then get to do the activity on the stick. After completing the activity, they turn it writing side up in the cup and go back to their next item of work. That’s it.

Break Bucket 3

The activities I chose to write on the sticks are:

  • jump rope for 8 minutes
  • 15 push ups
  • stretch for 10 minutes (my girls have dance stretches to do)
  • playground for 15 minutes
  • jump like a frog for 3 minutes
  • crab walk around the kitchen, living room, and dining room
  • 25 cherry pickers
  • dance for 10 minutes
  • run to the rocks (our playground across the street has a big pile of rocks at the back of it)
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • play outside for 15 minutes
  • WiiFit for 15 minutes
  • scooter or bike for 15 minutes

Break Bucket 2

After implementing this, I saw an improvement in cooperation, cheerfulness, and general work ethic. Nothing major but just being able to take regular breaks and do something to get the blood pumping really energizes them. Brains work better and so do hearts.

What do you do to encourage activity during school hours?

A list of all posts related to the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop 2015 came be found under the Back to Homeschool page.

At Home.

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

This post is part of the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop, sponsored by School House Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection. There are over 50 bloggers participating in the blog hop so you have lots of reading to do! Click on the picture to be taken to the listing of all participating bloggers and find something to encourage you today.

#HeartParenting & Giveaway

#heartparenting

Have you seen this hashtag? It’s been floating around quite a lot in my social media feeds. The pictures and quotes that I have seen have been encouraging to me. As a parent, it is so easy to get worn down by the day. And when I am worn down, the energy I have to direct toward parenting is almost non-existent. But that is not good. That is not okay. Because my children deserve better. The cost of not parenting their hearts is too high.

Parenting is Heart Work

National Center for Biblical Parenting

The National Center for Biblical Parenting was founded by Dr. Scott Turansky and Mrs. Joanne Miller. They created the NCBP after seeing and learning the struggles that parents have. They knew that the answers lie in parenting the heart of a child rather than in just learning to modify behavior. This became a ministry they followed and it grew. Currently, the NCBP has numerous publication, presenters and presentations that help equip parents in implementing a heart-based approach to parenting.

Parent Training Centers

The National Center for Biblical Parenting is launching a new initiative – the Parent Training Center. These are churches who have taken on the important task of training parents to be parents who parent their children’s hearts. These churches will intentionally work on training parents and they will provide resources and tools that help teach discipleship of believers and evangelism to other families in the community surround the Parent Training Center church.

Churches that have the vision of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Ephesians 6:1-4 will appreciate the efforts of the NCBP. Their desire to help parents training their children in the ways of the Lord, through all parts of their days and lives, is a worthwhile goal. Dr. Turansky, one of the founders of the NCBP, has several videos on the Parent Training Center website that will do a more thorough job of informing you of the ideals and plans behind the Parent Training Center and how to find out more.

There are a number of ideas that can be implemented right away shared in these video and site pages. This looks like a really interesting concept idea and plan. Please view the videos and explore the Parent Training Center website to learn more.

getting through the day and cover

Parenting Is Heart Work

The primary goal of the Parent Training Center is to equip parents to train and reach the hearts of their children. The resources used must be heart-based. That is where the book Parenting is Heart Work comes in. This is one of the key resources from the NCBP.

Did you know that the Bible talks about the heart more than 750 times? What does that tell you about God’s use of the heart? God talks to us in the Bible about turning our hearts to him, about how we store up treasure in our hearts, that we can sin in our hearts, that where your treasure there your heart will be also. The heart is the center of our belief and emotion. Out of belief and emotion comes action. That is why an effective parent will be able to reach the heart of a child. That is why God works so hard to reach our hearts.

Understanding the Heart

Parenting is Heart Work delves into the heart and what we can do in our parenting moments to reach our children’s hearts. From the ideal to the absolutely practical, we are walked through rethinking what we do as parents, how we correct and disclipline, what words like discipline really mean, and how to change what we do in hopes of changing the hearts of our children to God.

Each of the four parts of the book is chock full of Biblical example. Working straight from God’s word, Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller apply heart parenting and God’s work to specific situations. Each example is relatable and the application of the ideas allows us as parents to be able to see ways to incorporate the tools into our own parenting.

Through the examples and tools, I found a lot of reassurance for the work I was already doing as a part. I found encouragement that I was doing some things right. I also found an encouraging word about the things I saw that I need to change. It wasn’t full of guilt. And each chapter ended with a prayer from my heart to God. They were written out but I found, time after time, that I was editing the prayer to be specific to what I saw in the chapter that I needed to address.

The book has a section at the end with discussion questions for each chapter. This would allow you to utilize the book as a selection for a book club or discussion group. I found these questions to be helpful to dig deeper into my own thoughts and challenges with the tools and concepts in each chapter.

heart parenting notes

I spent quite a bit of time with this book. It was encouraging and helpful to me. I read most of it with a notebook and three colored pens beside me. Whenever I was reading and needed to apply it directly to the girls, I would make notes on the page in a different color for each of the girls. It is something I have already gone back to several times and will continue to add to and consult in my desire to parent my girls’ hearts.

I found this to be a wonderful book that I definitely recommend. It won’t be gathering dust on my shelves. When I find something that helps me follow God’s will in teaching my children and training their hearts to God, I don’t want to keep it to myself. And, if all of the resources for the Parent Training Centers are this great, then the Parent Training Center initiative by the National Center for Biblical Parenting is a powerhouse for change. Our world needs this kind of change.

At Home.

There is a giveaway going on until Aug. 17, 2015.
Heart Parenting Giveaway

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

Parenting Is Heart Work disclaimer

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