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Friday, October 7, 2011

I Was Deprived Because I was Homeschooled

Guest Post by Ashley Schnarr....

Someone recently asked me if I thought I missed out on anything because I was homeschooled. After our conversation it got me to thinking….. “Was I deprived any thing?” “Did I miss out because I was homeschooled?” After much thought I’ve come to this conclusion:
Yes. I DEFINITELY missed out because I was homeschooled.

I missed out on so many things like:
  • One size fits all teaching style
  • Grade segregation
  • Mandatory training on subjects that go against my beliefs
  • Being restricted to the average grade for my age
  • Being unsheltered in a peer dominated environment
  • Constrained religious freedoms
  • Limited flexibility
  • Reduced family time
Homeschooling provided me with much flexibly, freedom and family interaction. I learned to thrive socially by mingling with people of varied ages and God’s Word was instilled in me virtually unhindered.
So you ask me “Do you feel deprived?” Yup, I definitely missed out, but you know what? I don’t regret it one bit. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

A Lesson in Values from the Swamp Fox

I love being Uncle Rick.  I love reading the Scriptures and explaining them to kids. I love telling “example stories” to them to make character applications that, hopefully, will affect the way kids live their lives as they grow up and afterward. 
It’s a treat to hear back from the kids, too.  Last weekend a family from Delaware was visiting in our town and emailed ahead to ask if six-year-old Hannah could possibly meet Uncle Rick while they were here.  You better believe she could, and she did. And there’s little Michael from Alabama, who calls me every few months just to chat. Notes written in pencil on tablet paper and pictures drawn with crayon come every so often and make me feel like a celebrity. 

One of the deepest satisfactions of my role as Uncle Rick is knowing that I am introducing children all over the country to some great books that my grandparents may have read as children, but which have long since disappeared from library and bookstore shelves. I’m talking about the kind of books that people used to write for kids, books that teach values and morals and worthy character.  Fiction or nonfiction, there was a time when authors saw their job as not just entertaining young people, but inspiring them. I remember a few such books from my childhood, though they were getting scarce even then. Now we’ve found an online source for old books, and I get to revive these treasures and share them with a new generation of young Americans as I read and comment on them as Uncle Rick.
My most recent recording project was a book about General Francis Marion, the famous “Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War. Written in 1892, it’s a great true adventure story with action in every chapter.  But it’s also a window into the heart of a great patriot who sacrificed much and risked all, to win liberty for future generations.  

Let me share with you a condensed section of the book, which I recorded as “Uncle Rick Reads, Marion’s Men”.
In chapter 32, True Greatness, General Marion has arranged a prisoner exchange with a British officer and has invited the man to share dinner with him before leaving.  Finding that dinner consists of nothing but sweet potatoes roasted in the camp fire, the Englishman questions Marion on what might be the motivation for him and his followers to endure such lean rations as they fought a war.  What, he wondered, would men care about so much that they would wear rags, eat scanty provisions, sleep in the swamp and go without pay while daily risking their lives?  Marion gave an impassioned reply:
“It is a matter of principle, sir.  When a man is interested he will do and suffer anything.  Many a youth would think it hard to be indentured at a trade for fourteen years.  But let him be head over heels in love with such a beauteous sweetheart as Rachel, and he will think no more of fourteen years’ servitude than did Jacob.  That is just my case.  I am in love.”
“You in love, General?” asked the Englishman.
“Yes, I am in love, and I have the most beautiful sweetheart; her name is Liberty.
“Be that beauteous nymph my companion, and these wilds and woods have charms beyond London or Paris.  To have no proud monarch driving over me with his gilt coaches; nor his host of excise men and tax gatherers insulting and robbing me; but to be my own master, my own prince and sovereign, gloriously preserving my national dignity, and pursuing my true happiness; planting my vineyards and eating the luscious fruit, sowing my fields and reaping the golden grain; and seeing millions of brothers all around me, equally free and happy as myself.  This, sir, is what I long and fight for.”
The English officer had but seldom listened to such eloquence, simple yet grand, earnest and persuasive.
“As a man and a Briton, I must say your picture is a happy one.”
“Happy,” said Marion; “yes, happy indeed!  And I would rather fight for such blessings for my country, and feed on roots, than keep aloof, though wallowing in all the luxuries a Solomon could bestow.
“Now, sir, I walk the soil that gave me birth, and exult in the thought that I am not unworthy of it.  I look upon these venerable trees around me, and feel that I do not dishonor them.  I think of my sacred rights, and I rejoice that I have not basely deserted them.
“And when I look forward, sir, to the long ages of posterity, I glory in the thought that I am fighting their battles.  The children of distant generations may never hear my name, but still it gladdens my heart to think that I am now contending for their freedom, and all its countless blessings.”
The Englishman put out his hand.  “We are enemies,” said he, “but as a man I acknowledge you are right, and I would to God my country would let you go your own way.”
And the young officer never rested until he had thrown up his commission and left the British service.  When the clouds of war had blown over he told Marion that he never again could live under a monarchy.  He bought an estate in Carolina, and married an American.  Several of his descendants have at times distinguished themselves, and more than one has occupied the gubernatorial chair.  The seed sown by General Marion fell on good ground and bore most excellent fruit.
That book was written fifteen years before my grandfather was born, and is the kind of stuff he used to read as a boy.  Now, I have a little part in making it available to thousands of young people all across America, kids who otherwise might never have known it existed.  If I had never accomplished anything else in my ministry, these years would not have been wasted.
See why I love being Uncle Rick?

~Rick Boyer

We’re linked up to: Women Living Well & Raising Homemakers

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Part 3: The Importance of Teaching Character to Your Children

Compelling Reasons (#5-7)

  1. The 5th reason to teach your kids character is that in doing so you are guiding them into being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Romans 8:29 says, “ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” One of the best ways to analyze ourselves is in relation to the character qualities. When we see character weaknesses crop up (and they will) we need to employ the corresponding positive quality. To help you in becoming skillful in this, you can access Identifying and Dealing with Offenses handout (access it for FREE)
This list has 32 types of negative behavior, such as lying, complaining, teasing, unkindness, and also the corresponding positive behavior. We need to remember in dealing with our children, every negative behavior we see is just a positive character quality misused, and it is our job as parents to guide our children in choosing instead the character of Christ (not that we can ever be perfect in it as He is, but it is He we must learn to imitate instead of giving in to our selfish desires). For instance, if your child is displaying anger, he needs to learn to choose self-control. The handout also supplies you with an insight learned from the Scripture verse,- give a soft answer! Our study Growing in Wisdom is based on this handout and supplies you with short answer questions from Scripture as well as flashcards to assist you in teaching your children how to learn to choose the positive instead of the negative that comes so naturally! 

  1. Teaching character builds a solid foundation on which learning can take place. II Peter 1:3 gives a list to add to our faith in Jesus. Virtue (godly character)  is next in line above knowledge. If we just teach our children academics, they will become puffed up. We need to teach them to apply godly character in making wise decisions first. With this foundation, learning comes much more easily. Knowledge without character produces educated fools.  Knowledge is not the answer to our problems in society, CHARACTER is the answer!
  2. Teaching character builds a solid foundation for future generations!  Proverbs 20:7 says, “ The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”  When a man has learned to make wise choices and walk in integrity, his children who come after him receive a blessing! If you want to insure that your grandchildren and great grandchildren have a secure foundation, teach your children to make wise decisions! As you pour into the lives of your own children, you are building for future generations!
More next week


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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Part 2: The Importance of Teaching Character to Your Children

      10    Compelling Reasons 
      (Reasons 1-4 this week)

1. When we teach our children what character qualities are, we are teaching them to understand Jesus better.  Jesus is our perfect example of every character quality. Consider His:
·         hospitality in the feeding of the 5000,
·         self-control in the Garden of Gethsemanae,
·         meekness before Pilate, his determination as he set his face steadfastly to go to Jerusalem knowing what awaited him there,
·         flexibility as he was stopped by the woman with the issue of blood who touched him and was healed,
·         orderliness in dividing the crowd up in groups of 100’s and 50’s as he instructed his disciples to feed them before sending them home,
·         boldness in confronting the Pharisees,
·         availability to bless the children when they came to him,

We could continue on and find recorded events in Scripture when Jesus is the perfect example of all the character qualities (that would be a great study!)

I recently heard a sermon by a Pastor Davis who taught his congregation on character and at the end of the sermon read the passage of Jesus feeding the 5000. He asked children 12 years old and younger to raise their hands and tell what character qualities they could see from the lives of either Jesus or his disciples in this passage. The kids came up with 13 different character qualities in just this one passage of Scripture. What a great idea for family devotions!!! The first step in teaching your children to be boys and girls of character is to teach them simple definitions for each character quality and a verse from Scripture for each. After they understand what it means, you can then design projects to help them internalize it into their everyday lives.  Kids of Character study and flashcards is a tool we designed to help you do just that with your children. 

2. The second reason to study character is to understand why trials come into our lives. God is using our trials for a purpose- to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. A wise man once said, “Our trials are custom-made” for each of us. When we learn to properly respond to our trials, we get grace from God and develop in our lives more of the positive character quality. When we respond negatively, we see more of the negative character trait grow in our lives.

3. The third reason to teach our kids character is help them get the guidance they need for everyday life.  Prov. 11:3 says the integrity of the upright will guide them. When your child learns to respond with the character of Christ, he will receive the guidance he needs in everyday life. When he chooses to be truthful, more truthfulness will be built into his life. If he chooses not to be truthful, deceptiveness will grow in his life. When we respond to life’s situations with godly character, we will be receptive to God’s will for our lives

4. We should guide our children in studying character so they may experience the blessings of God. Psalm 18:20 says “ The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me.”

When your child learns to choose truthfulness, he will receive the blessings of truthfulness. When he chooses responsibility he will receive the blessings of being responsible, when he chooses joyfulness, others will enjoy being around him, etc.

We'll cover more reasons next week!


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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Part 1: The Importance of Teaching Character to Your Children

Praising Character
Why is it we so often forget to praise our children?  As parents we are responsible to steer them in the right direction and because of that we tend to focus on the negative. Sometimes our kids get the impression that we are not easy to please. Praise is a huge motivator and we need to remember to be lavish with our praise for our children.
Why is it when we do think to praise our children we tend to praise them for the wrong things? Think about it- we tend to praise others for achievement, accomplishments, knowledge, position, physical strength or physical looks. When we do that it tends to create in our kids- pride, vanity, jealousy and contention and strife.
Instead, we should praise our children for their character. When we praise them for their diligence for instance, it inspires them to be more diligent. When we praise them for their initiative, they begin looking for more ways to meet the needs of others without even being asked. When we praise them for their responsibility, they step up and feel the inner satisfaction in working hard to fulfill their given chores. In order for our children to work on implementing character in their lives, they need to understand what character is.
In essence, the study of character is the study of our God. Character qualities are just the character reflected to us in the life of our Savior. When we teach character to our kids we are helping them to be more like Jesus which is the very reason we were created.
Phillipians 3:10 says “That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” We learn character that we may better know our God.
Remember as you prepare for the upcoming school year to plan and prepare to teach character to your children. It’s the most important subject you will ever teach. In the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you several reasons I have made it my priority in the home education of my children.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Giveaway Winner!

 is our winner with her post that said 

"I became a follower of the blog."

Congratulations, Rebecca!!

Thanks to ALL of you who participated in the Giveaway!!

winner was chosen using

Monday, August 8, 2011

August Giveaway!

**This Giveaway is now closed!**

It's a new month, and that means it's time for another giveaway! 

Proverbs People Collection
$67.00 Value!
Winner will be announced on Tuesday morning. Check back on the blog!

Proverbs People Collection features Proverbs People workbooks I and II, our most popular products for children aged seven to twelve.  In addition, it includes Proverbs People  flash cards providing two Bible verses for each character type presented in the Proverbs People workbooks.  The collection also features the 5-cd set, Uncle Rick Reads the Proverbs.  Pop one of these cd’s in at naptime, bedtime or travel time and your children will hear Uncle Rick read and explain the entire book of Proverbs.   They will memorize  God’s word effortlessly and can go to sleep each night meditating on its mighty truth.  Help your child experience the power of Scripture through character study and reinforced listening as well!

Here's How to Enter:

**NOTE:  "Anonymous" comments will not be considered. 

1. Post a Comment telling us where you first heard about or met the Boyers/The Learning Parent  (for example: VA homeschool conference, On this Blog, Friend, Facebook, etc.)

For additional entires, you can:
1. Become a "Follower" of this blog and tell us that you did....(see the left side column near the bottom)
2. Mention this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter and then tell us that you did. (this time we are not looking for people to tell us that they follow us on FB)

Be sure to post a separate comment for each thing you do!

winner will be chosen using

please, no international entries


Friday, July 29, 2011

Character Matters

Hello.  I am your child’s future employer.  No doubt you’ve thought about me, though we haven’t met.  You’re teaching your child at home because you want the best future possible for him (or her).  One of the things you’re concerned about is your child’s preparation for a career.  That’s wise.  Everybody has to make a living doing something, and it’s not a good idea to wait until they’re grown up and on their own before some preparation is made for that.  So I’m going to do you a favor.  I’m going to tell you in advance what I’m looking for in a young person I’m considering hiring.
Because of your own schooling, you may be more concerned about grades and tests than you should be.  They make a big deal out of such things in school, but frankly I couldn’t care less.  Sure, I want your kid to be literate when he comes to see me about a job.  I need basic reading, communication and math skills.  But I don’t care what your kid’s SAT score was.  That doesn’t translate into a good employee.
If you stop to think about it, you don’t care all that much, either.  As a consumer, have you ever asked the plumber, your doctor or the Chief of the fire department what sort of test scores he had in school?  No.  You’re not concerned about what he did twenty years ago as a student; you want to know what he can do now.  As a professional.  For you.

That’s where I’m coming from.  I’ve had bright kids and slow kids work for me and I’ve seen good and bad in both.  I don’t see any way that real intelligence can be measured on tests, but even if it can, that’s not what makes an employee a winner in my eyes.  I’ve had too many intelligent jerks on the payroll.

I’ll tell you what I’m looking for.  And if you’re smart and if you want the best for your kid, you’ll pay attention.  I’ve been in business for a long time.  I’ve hired a lot of people and I’ve had to fire quite a few.  It’s not fun being a boss at a time like that, but it comes with the territory.  I can’t afford to employ your kid because he needs a job or he’s a nice person or because you’re a personal friend of mine.  But I’ll tell you what will make me eager to be your kid’s employer and I can say it in one word.  That word is character.

Yes, I said character.  With a capital C.  I’m not looking for young people who know everything; I’m looking for young people who are good people.  I can teach them the job skills they need, but only you can teach them good character.

To start with, I need the character quality of honesty.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to find people I can trust to come to work, do their jobs and not walk out with a bunch of my property.  Besides stealing from me, which is terrible, it’s even worse when employees steal from my customers.  The people who do business here trust me, and I take that seriously. I won’t keep an employee who delivers a product or service that is less than the customer intended to pay for. If I send an employee to your home to make a delivery or perform some work, I don’t want to have to worry about him lifting some of your jewelry or silver.  If I can’t trust an employee’s basic honesty, I can never have a moment’s peace or rest.

I need diligent people.  People who don’t have to be horsewhipped to keep them working at a responsible pace.  I’m not a slave driver, but I want a real hour’s work for an agreed-upon hour’s pay.  That doesn’t sound like I’m asking for much, does it?  Yet you’d be amazed at how few people have any sense of obligation about it.  That is, you’d be amazed if you’ve never been an employer.
I need humble people.  People who don’t know everything and don’t mind being told there’s a better way to do it and are willing to do things the way I prefer, just because I prefer it.  After all, I’m writing the check.  I want what I want for that money, just as much as you want the exact product or service you expect when you’re writing the check as a customer.

I need loyal people.  I don’t ask anybody to work for me forever; I understand that people sometimes need to better themselves vocationally or just want to move on to something different.   And I understand that loyalty is a two-way street.  I try to take care of my people.  All I ask is that they give me a decent amount of consideration and act as if I have needs, too.  Because I do.
I need people who are respectful.  If your kids backtalk you all the time, if they’re mouthy and rude, please don’t send them to me.  I know they’re driving you crazy, and they’ll do the same to me.  Worse, they’ll be a thorn in the flesh to their supervisor and co-workers.  Your kid does not have enough talent to make up for the problems he’ll cause here if he doesn’t respect authority and—well, just basic human dignity.  If he doesn’t respect people I don’t need him.

I need people who are thorough.  A lick and a promise just aren’t good enough for my customers.  Surely you’ve had the experience of paying good money for a car with hidden defects, an overdone steak, kitchen knives that won’t stay sharp or a cup of lukewarm coffee.  Don’t send me your kid with a resume in his hand if he won’t follow through on projects and get it done all the way.

A little patience would be helpful, too.  Your kid will have to work with bosses, fellow employees and customers.  If he can’t control his temper and put forth the effort to hide his natural irritations a bit, he’ll constantly be waging word-wars with the other workers and probably some of the people who give us their money in exchange for our services.  After all, they’re people too.  They occasionally have a bad hair day and may need a little forbearance.  If an employee has the maturity to control his temper, we can satisfactorily do business with most people.  If not, a moody customer may become an ex-customer.  I can’t afford that.

Have you ever thought about contentment as a job qualification?  By that I don’t mean a guy who never wants to rise above his present position in the company.  I like ambition and I respect it.  I reward it in my company; the person who is always trying to be better gets raises and promotions here.  The contentment I’m talking about is the willingness to tolerate the little discomforts of the present situation and accept them as a normal part of life.  One of the most annoying things for an employer is workers who constantly gripe.  Nothing is ever good enough for them.  If something about the work or the company policies or the boss is less than ideal, these folks make sure to spread the discontent.  Suffering in silence is not an option, nor is going through the chain of command and trying to work out a reasonable solution.  No, these types have to gripe and fuss and make it a lousy day at work for everybody around them.  It never seems to occur to them that I really try to make this a good place to work.  Or that there are limitations on me as well, and I can’t control every little detail of the situation.  For Pete’s sake, we’re not being paid to have a party, we’re being paid to do what the customer wants us to do. We can try to have everything just like we want it after work, but even then it’s pretty hard to pull off.

Finally, I’d appreciate it if you’d teach your kid some prudence.  I mean good, old-fashioned common sense.  Some of the people who have worked here didn’t seem to know enough to come in out of the rain.  The sort of people you have to leave a trail of bread crumbs for if you want them to get to the right place at the right time.  Call it prudence, call it good sense, call it wisdom if you want to.  It’s an aspect of character that reduces waste in time, energy and expense.  It’s critical to productivity, efficiency and even safety.  You wouldn’t believe some of the stupid things I’ve seen people do, causing endless problems for others and even putting fellow employees in danger.  Just because of a lack of judgment.  Prudence.

I’m not saying your kid has to be a cherub to work here.  I’m not perfect and neither is anybody else in the company.  All I’m asking is that applicants show up with a good attitude and act like they have a decent degree of consideration for the needs of others.  If they have that attitude they will meet the needs of the job and climb up the career ladder at a good pace.

So if I may offer a little advice from the other side of the employment relationship, teach your kids first and foremost to be people of character.  They’ll make the workplace a better place for themselves and everybody else.  If they work for me, I’ll see to it that they make more money, get more appreciation, and rise faster in position than any straight-A whiz kid who ever walked through my door thinking he was doing me a favor by applying for a job here.  A young person of character can do well in my business or in any business where he chooses to work.
Come to think of it though, that may not last long.  Young people like that usually end up being their own boss.


Related Products:
Be sure to check out our Character Concepts Series of Resources. Our goal is equip you, the parent, with the tools you need to successfully teach your children the principles of good Character!
Kids of Character  
Flashcards, Study Workbook, or Set                        


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Life with Toddlers....

I had always heard, “Watch out for those terrible two’s”. I really don’t think it has anything to do with being two – sometimes it’s being three. But it doesn’t have to be terrible. It’s just another “season” and as always, each toddler handles it differently according to their God-given personality and how you handle it. Some children are very sensitive and respond to “no” by crying. Others are headstrong and test the limits. You and your husband need to get your heads together (over a steak dinner, of course) and set a few but simple rules of behavior. Don’t expect your child to automatically know what you expect. I remember Carrie, at about a year old, couldn’t talk very well yet, and would want to communicate with me, but couldn’t get her point across, so she would scream. This “season” didn’t last terribly long, but I tried to put myself in her shoes. She was number eight in the lineup, it was hard to get a word in edgewise, and she had trouble mustering up the words anyway. I would try to ask her what the problem was and remedy the situation, but it wasn’t always easy. Neither would it have been right to just spank her and expect quietness. She had a frustration and couldn’t express it so she had to be taught how to properly express it. It was just a blip in her training. 
The main thing to remember is to deal with your children reasonably and with understanding, as you would want God to deal with you.
Then there’s Laura, a little bundle of energy (my only child who loved the wind in her face as an infant). She was constantly on the go and making noise. She threw herself into life and made the most of it – loudly. (Her brother coined a special nickname for her: “Mouthy.”) I have memories of her as a 15-month old, as I was trying to do school with the others, sitting in the middle of the kitchen table delightedly taking caps off markers and flinging them wildly in every direction. She didn’t need a spanking, just loving re-direction.

Life with a toddler doesn’t always flow smoothly, but neither does it need to be a constant battle of wills. Stop, pray, ask God for wisdom, try to put yourself in your child’s shoes, and then correct them. Realize that firmness doesn’t mean meanness. The creativity of God is available for the asking.
As a parent, don’t let your emotions go unbridled. Go to God first, get your emotions right, and then correct your child. Learn to distinguish childishness from disobedience. There is a difference. Don’t expect your toddler to act like an adult. Remember not to react as a toddler might, but ask God to guide your correction.
Potty training doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be a big deal. There comes a time in each toddler’s life when they’re ready, really ready, and if you can be patient and let it occur naturally, it won’t be a big deal. Society tends to put pressure on us to have our kids potty trained, and young moms will get together and compare notes on what age little Tommy and Susie were potty trained. My kids were late, compared to others, and each one was different from the next, but somewhere between two and four years old they were potty trained. I’ve found usually when children are trained early, it’s more mom being trained to run them to the potty every fifteen minutes than anything else. I didn’t have time or interest for that. Training my kids in God’s Word was a priority, not using the potty.
When interest came up, I’d show them how, and sometimes give small rewards for using the potty, but I never pressured them or shamed them when they had an accident. When they’re a little older, they can wait longer periods of time, and you won’t have the problem of having to stop at every public toilet in town. When they’re staying dry all night and interested in trying, then begin training, but if you find they’re just not catching on, big deal. It’s easier to change diapers than having accidents to clean up all over the house and car.
I never had much of a problem with bed wetters by waiting until they were a little older. Often, when a child feels pressure to use the potty and shame or disappointment at accidents, they’ll get over-cautious about it and focus on it too much and be afraid of failing. Let them be free to learn in God’s timing.
Just relax. If they have trouble with wetting the bed, use diapers just at night – it’s usually the deep sleepers that can’t wake up soon enough, but it will come. It’s no big deal. Don’t make them think it is.
At one point, I had three kids in diapers for a few months, but they all learn, and it’s just not important what age they are when physically and mentally it clicks and underpants can be bought. That’s often an incentive in itself. Also, younger kids will often want to wear big boy pants like big brother does!
Actually, the toddler stage is quite delightful. We get so many laughs and so many of our funny family stories from the toddler years. As you try to guide your toddler in right behavior, think how we must appear to God at times and learn from it. Hold those toddlers a lot. Learn what delights them and be a part of it. Take time to hold that toad, pick a flower, do a leaf rubbing, take a walk in the woods. Toddlers are delighted by their world. Capitalize on their interests and teach them truths about God. Start teaching them scripture. Read to them a lot. I remember reading one child’s book over eighteen times in one sitting to my firstborn. Say no to lesser things and spend time with your toddler. Let him know you delight in him and love being with him.
It has been said that much of a child’s character is formed by the time he reaches five years of age. Moses’ mother, during the time until she weaned him (about four or five years) had managed to build in him a love for God and sense of destiny for his life.
The toddler years are building-block years of training and teaching. Don’t let your time be squandered away.   


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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to ALL of you who participated in our first ever giveaway! I'm sure we will be having more opportunities like this for you in the future! 

But this time- Our Winner is....

Jamie~ (who commented: I like you on FB, too! I wish I could "love" you, but sadly, that option isn't given. Thanks for this giveaway!)

Congratulations, Jamie! We will be contacting you very soon. We hope you enjoy your Character Concepts for Preschoolers Basic Curriculum!

Jamie was selected using

Since there can only be one winner, we will be offering this Character Concepts Pack along with our other Character Concepts for Preschoolers packs 25% off. Watch for the Sale Email later this week! If you do not receive our Sale Emails- go to The Learning Parent and Sign up today!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Free Giveaway! Character Concepts for Preschoolers Basic Curriculum

~This Giveaway is now closed~
Congratulations to Jamie~! 

The Character Concepts for Preschoolers Basic Pack values at $89.95 and includes:

1.  Crossroads of Character: Learning to Make Wise Choices
This colorfully illustrated book teaches your child 12 basic character qualities, vital to your his understanding of how to make wise choices in his everyday life.  The Boyer cousins (my grandchildren) are the main characters in the simple, but effective, stories in decision making.  The goal is to teach your child the definition of the character qualities (your child can't implement character in their lives without understanding what it is), and also teaches them a Scripture verse (what God says about it).

 2.   History for Preschoolers CD
Uncle Rick has recorded a CD set with stories of American heroes who also illustrate these character qualities in their lives.  We supply a picture of these heroes in our Mom's Guide so you can show them to your child as they listen to these Uncle Rick character stories.

3.   Learning Character with the Cousins Flashcards
These flashcards present the character qualities found in Crossroads of Character, the definition, and the Scripture verse.  Full-color pictures on the flashcards also make memorizing easier, as the child will remember the story that is associated with each Character Quality.

4.   Learning ABC's with the Cousins Flashcards
A set of photographic flashcards for learning the alphabet sounds.

5.   Hands-on Character Building
Proven ideas and projects for teaching character.

6.  Mom's Guide
Supplies you with the information and plan to effectively teach your preschoolers for a full 36-week period.  Patterns are given for seasonal and educational crafts.  Suggestions are made for family fun trips to help make learning fun, and as a bonus, over 30 recipes are included for fun food to make with your preschooler.

Also included are Bible stories and pictures of a person in Scripture who illustrates this character quality in their life.  Provided for your use are coloring pages for your child to use as you read them the Bible story provided.

The Mom's Guide really does guide you through the curriculum- step by step- our goal was to make it as easy for mom as possible!

(you can see inside this product at The Learning Parent)

Here's how to Enter:

a. "Like" us on facebook and then leave a comment here on this post that tells us that you did!
b. If you already "like" us on facebook, leave a comment on this post, and tell us that you're already a fan!

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 12! 
We'll post the winner's name here on the blog and we'll contact you, the winner, via facebook

**Some of you have asked if you can enter this giveaway if you are not on Facebook. This time, we are limiting it to people who are Facebook users since those were the rules that we originally gave.We realize that this does exclude some of you- but I am sure we will be offering more giveaways in the future that can include all of you. We are new at doing these giveaways and are still trying to work out some of the little kinks along the way. We thought starting with Facebook users would be a good starting point. 
Thanks for your interest!

~Kari Boyer

Winner will be chosen on Tuesday, July 12
Winners will be decided by, using the True Random Number Generator


Friday, July 8, 2011

Keep it Simple

Stop Making a School of Yourself.

The biggest problem most home school moms have is the one in their own heads:  schoolishness.  It’s not surprising.  After all, we all grew up in the factory schools where one size misfits all and you’re taught the same things in the same way with the same materials at the same age.  As if people had no individual personalities at all.
So we approach teaching our children with a head full of presuppositions from having seen things done a certain way all our growing-up years.  And we find ourselves doing things that don’t make sense and which make life harder, not easier for us and our kids.  We make Johnny finish all the practice problems in the math book even though he has already demonstrated mastery and is bored to tears with the useless repetition.  Let him turn the page!  We interrupt Susy in the middle of writing an exciting story because the clock says it is “time for” her to memorize some list of facts.  We jump though all the hoops prescribed by the teacher’s guide just because it says to—even if it burns up time that would be better used for a library trip or an experiment with some yucky thing a little boy found growing in the woods.  
We worry about “gaps” in our program.  As if anyone could really write a complete life curriculum.  If you take that idea to its logical conclusion, there is a gap in your own education for every question you ever answered incorrectly on a test.  
Mom, lighten up.  Trust yourself.  God did—that’s why He placed those children in your care.  You’re living life as a dedicated Christian adult.  You already know what it takes to walk the walk.  Trust the fact that God entrusted little lives to you.  He knows you can lead them through these years in a way that will prepare them for the years to come.  Teach them the things you’re glad you learned as a kid and the things you wish you had.  Introduce them to important books and interesting people.  Take them places that will make them think and ask questions... And do it as a family, not as part of a support group mob.  
Get them involved in service projects, teaching them by experience that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Find opportunities for them to trade real work for real money, even in little bits.  They need the experience of seeing the value of time by trading it for something of measurable worth.
Want to make home schooling simpler?  Trust yourself to make decisions and God to guide you.  Worship Him instead of a curriculum publisher.  Design an individual life curriculum for each child as you go.  Use published materials where they seem to work well, but realize that learning is all around you all the time.  Cultivate in yourself a curiosity about the world around you, and your children will learn to learn by watching you getting an education.  Take advantage of the incidental opportunities for learning that come along.  Encourage the kids’ individual interests—even if they’re not interesting to you—knowing that one interest leads to another and the learning goes on and on.
In other words, cultivate a lifestyle of learning and serving, then lead your children through it.  That will prepare them for whatever later life may bring.
It’s really not that complicated unless you make it that way.  Keep it simple.

~Rick Boyer
For More on this Subject See: Home Educating with Confidence and Homeschooling: Keeping it Simple